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James Moultrie

Giro d'Abruzzo: Jan Christen grabs race lead with stage 2 victory

Jan Christen (UAE Team Emirates) celebrates taking the leader's jersey at 2024 Giro d'Abruzzo with stage 2 victory.

Teenager Jan Christen (UAE Team Emirates) took a thrilling first professional victory and moved into the leader’s jersey on stage 2 of the Giro d’Abruzzo after an opportunistic attack with 6.2km to go.

UAE Team Emirates controlled most of the 162km stage until 19-year-old Christen got the attacks going on the final uncategorised climb. He was marked heavily by Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) on the uphill but didn’t give up the ghost with his winning move coming on the flat run to Magliano de' Marsi.

He narrowly missed out on a maiden win with fifth at Trofeo Laigueglia and second at Milano-Torino but after being the most aggressive rider on the opening two days of racing in Abruzzo, Christen finally got his reward as he celebrated over the line with a huge smile on his face.

Lutsenko won the sprint behind for second after looking very strong throughout the climbs, with Thomas Pesenti (JCL Team UKYO) taking third. Christen’s two teammates Pavel Sivakov and Adam Yates finished safely in the chasing group ahead of tomorrow’s queen stage to Prati di Tivo.

"It was my goal to win a pro race and I'm delighted I did today, before I turn 20," said stage winner and new maglia azzurra Christen. "We had a good plan with the team and everything went quite well. We set up a good pace from the bottom of the last climb. 

"Then it was my turn to attack but Lutsenko rode behind. It was a bit crazy after that. I wanted to attack again in the downhill and it went well. With 2 kilometres to go, I realised I was going to win. 

"With the team, we said today is my stage. We did super good. Tomorrow we'll go with Adam Yates for the GC and I will give my best for him to win Il Giro d'Abruzzo overall." 


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