Giro di Sicilia. Alexey Lutsenko wins queen stage and General Classification
The leader of Astana Qazaqstan Team Alexey Lutsenko took it all at the Giro di Sicilia 2023! Today, Kazakh rider crowned the last and the hardest stage of the Italian race, also taking the final General Classification!
“It was clear that the last stage would most likely be decisive for the fight for the General Classification. That’s why I was motivated for today. Although, I can’t said, that I did not try at the previous stages – I tried at the first stage and finished fifth, yesterday there was a chance, but the final was very tricky one with a lot of turns in the last kilometer, besides, there was a crash of Damiano Caruso. So, it all came down to the final stage, and together with the team we were going to give our 100%”, – said Alexey Lutsenko.
Lutsenko, supported by Gianmarco Garofoli, attacked from a reduced group of GC contenders on the last climb of the day Culmine di Scorciavacca, shortly taking a good gap to the chasers and increasing it later, on the descent to the finish town Giarre.
“The plan was to try something on the last climb, so that’s where I accelerated, in the end I was left alone with Caruso. We caught up with the breakaway, and somewhere in the middle of the climb, on the steepest section, I launched a new attack. I saw that it turned out to open the gap and I decided to go to the finish line pushing as hard as possible”, – continued Alexey Lutsenko.
The rider of Astana Qazaqstan Team arrived solo to the finish line having 40 seconds to the closest rival and, thus, securing the overall victory in Sicily.
“I am very happy with this victory, I know that it was important for the team to show the result, and today we all did it together – we won the stage and the overall standings. Many thanks to my team for their support, this is our team success”, – concluded Lutsenko.
“Teamwork and team spirit was the key for today’s success. Indeed, we took responsibility in the race from the beginning, from the first stage and continued following this line to the final stage. All our guys worked really hard day by day for this success and I would like to thank all the team for these amazing four days here in Sicily”, – said Giuseppe Martinelli, Sports Director of Astana Qazaqstan Team.
“Alexey was incredible today; he was unstoppable, and we all were happy to see him in such a good form in this queen stage. It was just “his day” and he did everything perfectly. A very beautiful and at the same time very important success for our team”, – continued Giuseppe Martinelli.
Photo credit: @SprintCycling