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Stephen Farrand

Alexey Lutsenko wins Giro d'Abruzzo as Sivakov triumphs on final stage

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) triumphed at the Giro d'Abruzzo.

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) secured overall victory at the Giro d'Abruzzo, beating Pavel Sivakov (UAE Team Emirates) and George Bennett (Israel-Premier Tech) after the three attacked and stayed away from the peloton during the 173km final stage to L'Aquila.

Sivakov won the stage on the rising finish, with Bennett finishing a single second behind, and Lutsenko third, as Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) led the chase group home at 39 seconds down.

The Kazakhstani champion responded to multiple attacks from UAE Team Emirates riders on the key mountain stage to Prati di Tivo on Thursday to win the stage and take the race leader's blue jersey. He was equally strong on stage 4 to L'Aquila.

Lutsenko, Sivakov and Bennett went clear on the 14.2km Castel del Monte climb with 50km to race and opened a lead of 1:30 on the subsequent rolling roads. The battle for the stage victory saw the trio play tactical games, as Bennett and Sivakov battled for second place overall and the stage victory. Sivakov proved to be a little stronger to win the final stage.

"I've been quite successful in Italy over the years. I was born here and so there's a special convention, I guess. It's a nice feeling to win," Sivakov, the former Giro U23 winner who was born in Italy to Russian parents, but now races under a French passport, said after his win.

"I didn't have a perfect start to the season due to an injury but now I'm coming back. Getting a win here is really good for my momentum."

Sivakov was able to take advantage of UAE Team Emirates' strength in depth, with Adam Yates, Jan Christian and Diego Ulissi all strong and overall threats.

"We made it hard for Astana on the long climb of the day," he said. "I attacked there and got isolated with Lutsenko and George Bennett towards the top, so I sat in the wheels. We had numbers in the back and that helped me save energy for a long time.

"When the gap started to grow, I started to pull with the guys and the number advantage of the team behind helped me to keep a lot of turns and so have energy in the end."

The final 175km stage of the Giro d'Abruzzo started in Montorio al Vomano and included several short climbs before the big one – the 14.2km Castel del Monte climb coming after 110km.

Matthew Riccitello (Israel-Premier Tech), Sebastian Sébastien (Tudor Pro Cycling Team), Jan Christen (UAE Team Emirates), Alessandro Tonelli (VF Group-Bardiani CSF - Faizanè), Adrien Maire (TDT-Unibet Cycling Team) and Simone Raccani (Zalf Euromobil Fior) formed the first serious attack and opened a 1:40 gap, forcing Astana Qazaqstan to lead the chase.

The six riders stayed away over the Forca di Penne climb, with 75km to race but were caught on the Castel del Monte, as the battle for the stage and the final GC exploded.

Sivakov, Bennett and Lutsenko got away and stayed away on the descent, with Sivakov making sure to take the three-second time bonus in the intermediate sprint in Calascio after 130km.

Bingo BW and Tudor lead the chase but the final climbs meant the trio stayed away until L'Aquila and the final showdown for the stage victory and to allow Sivakov and Bennett to join Lutsenko on the final GC podium.

Come the end of the stage, as Sivakov soared to the win, time bonuses eventually made the difference in the overall classification. Sivakov would rise to second overall, 31 seconds behind Lutsenko.

Bennett moved up to third overall at 34 seconds, while another UAE man, Adam Yates, and Yannis Voisard (Tudor Pro Cycling) dropped off the podium.


Results powered by FirstCycling

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