Astana's Lutsenko wins Tour of Oman second year straight
ASTANA. KAZINFORM - After his 2018 victory in the Tour of Oman, Alexey Lutsenko today sealed his second win of this stage race. After a challenging final day, the Kazakh champion successfully defended the race lead with the support of his team, Kazinform has learnt from the Astana ProTeam's press service.
Domenico Pozzovivo (second on 44" seconds) and Jesus Herrada (third on 47" seconds) completed the overall podium. Lutsenko also took the green ‘points' jersey today, after winning three stages this week. The final stage was won by Giacomo Nizzolo in a bunch sprint, with Davide Ballerini taking his first podium for Astana Pro Team by finishing third behind Sonny Colbrelli.
"I'm delighted to win this race again after last year's victory. This time I felt even better during the whole race, and together with the support I received from my teammates this edition was even more successful with three stage wins. It's nice to have this confirmation of my form, now it's important that I bring this feeling to the first goals of the season.
It was a hectic day, with a big crash and a lot of stressful moments. But all the time, especially Hugo Houle, Magnus Cort, and Zhandos Bizhigitov were next to me to keep me out of trouble. But now we've finished, I'm most of all very happy that we were able to work like this and to seal this overall win. We will have a small celebration, but the main goals of the season are still ahead of us," said Alexey Lutsenko.
"To win the Tour of Oman for a third time with Astana Pro Team, after Vincenzo Nibali in 2016 and Alexey Lutsenko last year, is a great achievement. Of course, it's very important to see that Lutsenko is in a good shape for his most important objectives for this season. But the whole team made a great impression this week, for example, today's third place in the stage for Davide Ballerini. We're happy about this week and are looking forward to the first big races coming up next," said sports director Dmitriy Fofonov.
"I was really close to the stage win, and with a final jump I tried to cross the finish line first, but at the end, it was Giacomo Nizzolo who finished just in front of me. I'm happy with my first podium for Astana Pro Team, but when you're so close, you always hope for more. But most important is that we took the overall win with Alexey Lutsenko, I'm very proud to have been part of the team that helped him during this Tour. Today's result and the overall win of Alexey gives me great motivation for the rest of the season," said Davide Ballerini.
The final stage of the 2019 Tour of Oman started in Al Mouj Muscat and finished on Matrah Corniche after 135.5 kilometers of racing. Shortly after the day's breakaway took off, Astana Pro Team took the lead in the peloton but when the advantage grew to 2,5 minutes for the break, the sprinter's teams took over to close the gap. In the final laps, the Kazakh team managed to stay in the first positions of the bunch to avoid any risks. After Davide Ballerini finished third in a fast bunch sprint, the back-to-back Tour of Oman win of Alexey Lutsenko was a fact. Overall, he finished 44" seconds in front of Domenico Pozzovivo and 47" seconds of Jesus Herrada. Next to the red jersey for his GC win, he also took the win in the points classification and received the green jersey.
It was a successful Tour of Oman with three stage victories and the overall win for Astana Pro Team.