Alexey Lutsenko takes the road race title in Kazakhstan
Alexey Lutsenko won the road race (164 km) at the Kazakhstan National Championships, which ended today in Taldykorgan. Lutsenko attacked solo from a leading group with some 20 km to go, opening a good gap, enough to finish alone and to become the new road race champion.
“It was a very good test of my form, and I am really happy with the race and with the way I was feeling during the whole day. With a week before the Tour de France it was important to check my conditions and looks like everything is going by plan. We attacked and broke away quite early, so he had to push hard and to stay away almost all day long, but we succeed. In the final I found a moment to go solo, it was a nice move for me, which brought me the title of the national champion. I am happy with my success at the National Championships and for me it will be a great honor to start the Tour de France in the jersey of the national champion of Kazakhstan”, – said Alexey Lutsenko.
A group of riders with Lutsenko, 2022 road race champion Yevgeniy Gidich and 2022 time trial champion Yuriy Natarov broke away clear after the first 20 km of racing, taking a good gap to the peloton. Later it was Gidich and Lutsenko together with Daniil Marukhin and Alexandr Semenov, who attacked again to create the decisive leading group. Alexey Lutsenko and Yevgeniy Gidich worked well together to keep the gap, while on the final lap Lutsenko counterattacked to win the race, while Gidich won the sprint for the second place.
Having the time trial title on Wednesday and winning the road race in Taldykorgan today, Alexey Lutsenko became 2023 absolute national champion.
Parallel to the battle in the Elite category there was a fight among Under 23 riders, dominated by Astana Qazaqstan Development Team riders. The individual time trial champion Maxim Taraskin was leading the race for a long time, while closer to the final the chasing group caught him back. The attack of Nicolas Vinokurov, followed shortly after that, brought him the second consecutive U23 national champion title.
“Well, it was a tough day. I had a plan to make part of the first breakaway and after some time I was able to come across a group of some 20 riders. But later it was caught back. During the final part of the race I had cramps, so I was thinking it was over for me, but at the end of the day I’ve managed to deal with it. I knew I would lose in the sprint against the other riders if our group arrives to the finish all together, so I attacked with 5 km to go and being caught back I kept on trying, attacking again with 1.5 km to the finish line. This time it worked well, and I was able to arrive alone. I am so happy to get this back-to-back victory after a lot of bad luck and sickness during the first half of the season. So now I am really looking forward to continue wearing this beautiful national jersey, working hard to achieve the new goals”, – said Nicolas Vinokurov.
The Under 23 road race podium was completed by two more Astana Qazaqstan Development Team riders – Andrey Remkhe was second and Orken Slamzhanov did third.
Photo credit: Kazakhstan Cycling Federation