Lutsenko blitzes Criterium du Dauphiné time trial to take stunning win
Alexey Lutsenko blitzed the field in the Crtierium du Dauphiné stage 4 time trial to take an impressive win on a day when Astana – Premier Tech went one-two with Ion Izagirre taking second place.
Izagirre set a flying pace on the 16.4km course to cross the line in 21’44” and move into the hot seat for a few minutes before Lutsenko stopped the clock eight seconds faster.
The Kazakh time trial champion started well to set the provisional third fastest time at the intermediate checkpoint but it was in the second half of the 16.2km course when Lutsenko put the hammer down on his Wilier Turbine to leave everything on the road.
“I did the maximum today and I’m really happy to win the stage. It wasn’t a big surprise for me because I did a lot of work on my time trial bike at altitude camp in Teide just before the race and I had a lot of motivation from Dmitry Fofonov in the car behind. We did many, many hours of training on the TT bike in the camp and it has paid off,” said Lutsenko.
“This kind of course, 16 kilometres of up and down is perfect for me. In the first six kilometres I went a bit slower and saved some energy and then in the last six to seven kilometres I went full, full gas. In the final, I just did my absolute maximum, 200 percent. To be only one second off the yellow jersey is a bit disappointing but the Dauphiné isn’t finished and I will fight to get the yellow jersey. Maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after in the mountains.”
Lutsenko came nail-bitingly close to taking the yellow jersey, having started the say 24 seconds behind races leader Lukas Postlberger, and ended up missing out on the yellow jersey by just one second.
Lutsenko and Izagirre’s strong performances come on the back of a two-week block at altitude in Tenerife as they look to prepare for the Tour de France, which has seemingly paid off for the Astana – Premier Tech duo after their dominant performances today.
“I did a good time trial in Paris-Nice but in the Basque Country and Tour de Romandie, I didn’t feel very good in the time trials. So, you never know what to expect because it is a speciality but now, I feel very good. The second part of the time trial was hilly and was the most important part. There you could make the difference. I’m really happy with my result today and for the team with Alexey’s win. To be the top two on the stage is a really good result and now we’ll look to continue our success in the second half of the race,” said Izagirre.
Alex Aranburu, who was third overall at the start of the day, crashed during his time trial in a day of mixed fortunes for the team but fortunately did not sustain any major injuries.
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 4 ITT: Firminy > Roche-La-Molière
Top 3: 1. Alexey Lutsenko, Ion Izagirre, Kasper Asgreen
Photo: Getty Images
— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com