Alexey Lutsenko claimed his first Tour de France stage victory on a very quick day on the tour
By Chuck Gibson (Interview quotes provided by Le Tour de France)
INTERNATIONAL (September 3, 2020) – If the last few miles of Wednesday’s Tour de France Stage 5 seemed fast, all 119 miles of today’s Stage 6 were shocking to the cycling world.
The fastest of them all, at least for the day was Alexey Lutsenko from Kazakhstan crossing the finish line with arms raised as he claimed his first TdF stage win. Lutsenko finished the 191 km (119 mile) stage in only 4h 32’ 34” with the second place finisher crossing the line 55-seocnds later at 4h 33’ 29” – a brisk pace with climbs compared to the 113 mile 4h 21’+ ride on the flat stage Wednesday.
“This victory is very important for me,” said Lutsenko.” This is the Tour de France, the most important race in the world. I’m very happy. I’ve worked so hard to get this victory. All this work has paid off.”
Lutsenko went on to say the Astana team talked on the bus with their manager Alexandre Vinokouro about opportunity to break away during the race.
“Since I had lost quite some time in previous stages, I had the chance to go in the breakaway,” Lutsenko said. “I did my best on the last climb to win. I never actually get dropped – I just kept a steady pace. The team car was telling us on the radio there were two very hard kilometers at the second part of the climb, so I rode my tempo and gave it all at those to create a gap big enough to win.”
The strategy paid off for Lutsenko. Another rider strategizing and working hard to gain back lost time was Julian Alaphillipe who only one day earlier lost the Yellow Jersey and overall race lead due to a 20-second time penalty for taking water in the final 20 km during the Stage 5 race. His effort earned him just one second closer, but there was no change in the overall leader as Adam Yates held onto the lead and the Yellow Jersey for another day.
“It’s a delight to wear yellow,” said Yates. “At the start, a big group went up the road. None of them was dangerous so it was about controlling the gap and keeping it as easy as possible. Hopefully I’ll keep for a few more days.”
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