Team News: 4th for Oman Tour winner Lutsenko

After his win in the Tour of Oman last week, Alexey Lutsenko showed his great form in the first of the classics, finishing fourth in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

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Team News: 4th for Oman Tour winner Lutsenko

After his win in the Tour of Oman last week, Alexey Lutsenko showed his great form in the first of the classics, finishing fourth in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. A five-man leading group was all that was left out front in the final kilometers when Zdenek Stybar attacked from this group.

Pic: Getty Images

The remaining four riders, including Lutsenko, were not able to close the gap on Stybar before the finish. Sprinting for the podium, Alexey Lutsenko finished third behind Greg Van Avermaet and Tim Wellens.

Alexey Lutsenko: “In general, I’m satisfied with my race and my fourth place. Of course, a win or a podium would’ve been better, but it was a good race for me. Honestly, I started this race thinking about the victory. Yesterday my first coach Vladimir Remyga passed away and today I wanted to win to dedicate the victory to him. Today’s race finished in Ninove, in this city we trained with our national team under the conduction of Vladimir Remyga. It was important for me to do a good race today. I think it was a great classic race, my team worked very well for me, I was always in a good position in every moment of the race.”

“In the last 40 kilometers, I felt very strong, I worked hard in the breakaway. I knew Van Avermaet and Wellens were always watching me, but that was the situation. When Stybar attacked nobody wanted to chase him. At the end of the day, I have a fourth place, a good result anyway. It was not easy to adapt to these narrow roads, a lot of corners and the road up and down after Oman, where we had absolutely different conditions, but I managed to do a nice race. It was a bit dangerous because of the rain and slippery roads, a few times I almost crashed but everything ended up good. It was our first classic race, we could be happy with our performance”.
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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the first race of the traditional Opening Weekend in Belgium, created a new final with one new climb and the traditional Kapelmuur and Bosberg. Huge crowds at the side of the roads during the 200 kilometers, with a break of four riders taking off after 4 kilometers. The peloton slowed down for some time, but going into the final 90 kilometers, everything speeded up for a spectacular final.

First, a group of 21 riders got clear from the peloton to chase the day’s breakaway, including Davide Ballerini. The young Italian looked strong in this select group but unfortunately crashed on one of the cobble sections. He was able to get back in the peloton but quit the race shortly after to recover for tomorrow’s race, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Everything came back together for the decisive part of the race at the bottom of the Molenberg.

On the Molenberg, a strong group of 15 riders was able to create a gap with the pack. Alexey Lutsenko was there among all the other favorites for the victory. A crash of Tiesj Benoot split this group, and with just six riders remaining, including Lutsenko, this group reached the bottom of the Muur van Geraardsbergen. Daniel Oss got dropped on this climb, and the remaining five riders would battle for the win.

Alexey Lutsenko was able to follow and lead the other riders in the final kilometers, but after an attack of Tim Wellens, Zdenek Stybar made a counterattack and got space from the other escapees. He made it to the finish line, winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. In the sprint for the podium, Greg Van Avermaet and Tim Wellens completed the podium, leaving Alexey Lutsenko for the fourth place. A strong performance of the Kazakh champion, who showed that he was able to compete with the best in the classics. He received great support from his teammates, of which Hugo Houle and Laurens de Vreese were able to finish in the second group.

Tomorrow, it’s time for the second classic of the Opening Weekend, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.



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