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Dani Ostanek

Giro d'Abruzzo: Alexey Lutsenko cracks UAE Team Emirates on stage 3 mountain finish

Alexey Lutsenko beat Diego Ulissi and Adam Yates.

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) overcame a UAE Team Emirates onslaught on the Giro d’Abruzzo stage 3 summit finish to sprint to victory and the race lead at Prati di Tivo.

The Kazakhstani rider survived multiple attacks from Adam Yates and Pavel Sivakov inside the final half of the 14.7km, 7% mountain before making it to the final metres in an elite group with Yates and a resurgent Diego Ulissi.

The Briton needed a two-second advantage in order to leapfrog Lutsenko and grab the blue jersey and also wanted to win the stage. But it was Lutsenko who surged first in the final sprint, jumping from Ulissi’s wheel inside the final 100 metres to score his first win of the 2024 season. Yates was unable to respond.

Ulissi took second place, two seconds back and just ahead of Yates. Yannis Voisard (Tudor Pro Cycling) and George Bennett (Israel-Premier Tech) rounded out the top five, 21 seconds down, on the queen stage of the four-day Italian race.

“UAE Team Emirates is a strong team, but my team also did a great job for me. In the final it’s a super good result for me and also my teammates,” Lutsenko said after the stage.

“The last climb was hard, and Adam Yates tried many times to attack and drop me. But I stayed with UAE in the final.

“I followed Yates’ wheel, then they tried with Sivakov and then Ulissi came. I needed to be at 100% to win today.

“It feels super good after a strange and difficult time for me at beginning of season. Now it’s a good feeling and good motivation.”

Lutsenko now leads the general classification by 14 seconds from Yates ahead of Friday’s hilly final stage to L’Aquila. 

Voisard and Bennett lie 37 seconds down with three other men – UAE pairing Ulissi and Pavel Sivakov plus Paul Double (Polti-Kometa) – also within a minute of the lead.

Following Astana’s whittling-down process early on the final climb of the 163km stage from Pratola Peligna, UAE Team Emirates took things up on behalf of Yates. By the time the first attacks were made, with Yates going first at 5.5km from the finish, only a handful of riders remained at the front, the majority of them in UAE colours.

Yates and Sivakov attacked and countered to try and wear Lutsenko down over the next 1.5km, but the 31-year-old stayed resolute and looked strong. He remained with Yates and then sat on Ulissi’s wheel when the Italian made his way back to the front for the day’s final kilometre and sacrificed his chances for Yates.

All eyes were on Yates to launch one last lunge to the line and try to take the blue jersey, but instead it was Lutsenko who struck out with little reply from his rivals, sprinting to the 42nd win of his career and putting himself in the driving seat to win the race.


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