Tour of Turkey. Alexey Lutsenko takes the queen stage, Harold Tejada is third
Astana Qazaqstan Team dominated the queen stage of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey with a super hard summit finish atop Babadag climb (18.4 km, 10.3%). Alexey Lutsenko and Harold Tejada were very active during the entire stage, especially on the last climb. At the end of the day with some 5 km to the top there were only three riders in front: Lutsenko, Tejada and Ben Zwiehoff. Inside the final kilometer of the stage the Kazakh champion launched a powerful attack to take a solo win, while Harold Tejada finished third.
“Most probably it was the hardest climb of my career, it was something incredible. Almost an hour of climbing at the limit of strength! The key to success was to distribute our forces correctly, having a good place for the final climb. Well, we prepared a good strategy, we decomposed our energy competently, and, in the end, everything worked out. It was a very difficult stage, but the team spent this day at the highest level. In the first half of the distance Gleb Syritsa and Michele Gazzoli supported me, while in the final, Harold Tejada was up there next to me all the time, together we were able to play the team tactics, which was crowned with a win. After returning from the Asian Games, the first few days on the Tour of Turkey I did not feel very well, acclimatization affected, but today everything was much better. I am very pleased with this success, I am happy that the team was really strong, and that we were able to prove ourselves in such a tough challenge”, – said Alexey Lutsenko.
“I am happy for Alexey, he was the strongest today and took a beautiful victory. On the last climb we were remained together with him in the group of leaders, we stayed next to each other all the time, helped each other, tried to keep a good pace so as not to let other rivals in. When we remained just three in front of the race, I started my lead-out to keep up the pace, as several riders were trying to come back behind us. At the final kilometer, I tried to keep up with Alexey’s pace, but I had not enough power, so I preferred to take my own rhythm and finished third. I think we had a very decent race today”, – added Harold Tejada.
As result of Stage Three Alexey Lutsenko moved up into the lead in the General Classification of the race, also leading the king of mountain classification, while Harold Tejada is now third overall.
Photo credit: @SprintCycling