Lutsenko wins bunch gallop to take under-23 word championship title
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lutsenko wins bunch gallop to take under-23 word championship title

by Shane Stokes at 8:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
Kazakh 20 year old triumphs ahead of Coquard and Van Asbroeck

Alexey LutsenkoTiming his final sprint perfectly to hold off those behind, Kazakhstan’s Alexey Lutsenko grabbed the gold medal in the under 23 world road race championship in Valkenburg. He was quickest in a chaotic final gallop, reaching the line just ahead of a fast-closing Bryan Coquard (France) and the Belgian rider Tom Van Asbroeck.

Hugo Houle (Canada) and Luke Pibernik (Slovenia) finished just outside the placings in the eleven lap, 177.1 kilometre event, which was predicted by some to break up due to the climb of the Cauberg. There were several big escapes including a dangerous move which was still ahead on the last lap, but everything was together heading onto the climb for the last time.

There Georg Preidler (Austria) showed considerable power to ride clear, with only Jay McCarthy (Australia) able to make contact. Several others bridged after the summit but these hesitated, allowing the bunch to make the junction before the sprint and for Lutsenko to blast clear for gold.

The 20 year old Astana continental team rider is one of the big future hopes for Kazakhstan, having won stages in the Tour de l’Avenir, Giro della Valle d’Aosta and Tour de Bulgaria this year and also taking runner up slots in both the national Elite road race and Elite TT titles.

He insisted the win wasn’t an easy matter. “It was difficult from the start. I suffered a lot,” he said. “Our team’s tactic was to control the race and wait. The team did a great job in the last lap. They kept the pack together and me in the front. The Cauberg was very hard, though, I lost a lot of positions but managed to get back. Then I just went as fast as humanly possible.”

Coquard was very fast in the final 150 metres, overtaking many riders but just coming up short. “Second is a good result but I’m still disappointed. The problem was I had no team-mate for a lead-out,” he explained “Warren Barguil did an excellent job at keeping everything together but in the final 500 meters there was no-one left.

“I started the sprint at 350 meters when I found a gap. I decided not to wait because you never know when someone boxes you in. I didn’t want to take that risk and blame myself afterwards. I got real close…even after the finish I wasn’t sure about my position.”

How it happened:

The 157 riders in the race would fight it out over 177.1 kilometres, the distance being made up by eleven laps of a 16.1 kilometre circuit. Very early on two riders went clear; Jesper Dahlstrom (Sweden) and Tomohiro Kinoshita (Japan) had opened a half-minute lead after seven kilometres, and were joined soon after by the Australian Michael Freiberg. The trio had 55 seconds crossing the line at the end of lap one, four minutes 30 by the next crossing of the line, and six minutes 56 by the end of lap three. This dropped slightly to six minutes 36 over the next circuit, leaving seven laps to go.

The peloton became gradually more active after this point, with many attacks being fired off. While few of these stayed away for any length of time, it meant that the gap continued to drop. Mark Dzamastagic (Slovenia) jumped clear and was five and a half minutes down at the end of lap five, 22 seconds ahead of the peloton. Although he was brought back soon afterwards, the pace continued behind and the break’s advantage was only two minutes 23 the next time round.

Sensing the gap was bridgeable and also that it was close enough to the finish to throw down the gauntlet, eight riders jumped clear on lap seven. These were Maxime Daniel (France), Dieter Bouvry (Belgium), Luka Pibernik (Slovenia), Marcel Aregger, Tom Skujins (Latvia), Michel Koch (Germany), Antoine Duchesne (Canada) and Joshua Atkins (New Zealand). They succeeded in getting across to the leaders but hard chasing behind brought everything back together with four to go.

A lull in the pace saw several crashes take place, with riders not paying enough attention and bringing themselves or others down. Most were able to chase back on. Things were still together starting the eighth ascent of the Cauberg, where Denmark’s Michael Andersen jumped clear. However he was brought back just after the line.

More big groups give it a go:

Zico Waeytens jumped away and had a gap on the Bemelerberg but despite his best efforts, he was caught. A ten man move then sprung clear and had eight seconds at the end of lap nine. Present were the Belgians Kenny Van Bilsen, Jasper Stuyven and Dieter Bouvry, Jay McCarthy (Australia), Jan Polanic (Slovenia), Gennady Tatarinov (Russia), Andrea Fedi, Davide Villella and Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (all Italy) and the Austrian Lukas Postlberger.

This group then split with Fedi and Postlberger pushing ahead and being joined on the penultimate lap by Anton Vorobyev (Russia), Pauwel Bernas (Poland), Eduardo Sepulveda (Argentina) and Gabriel Chavanne (Switzerland). The latter crashed out of the move soon after, clipping a wheel, but fortunately didn’t seem badly hurt.

Fedi was particularly active in driving the break on the Cauberg. Behind, Davide Villella (Italy) was chasing hard, but was caught soon after crossing the line.

Ireland’s Philip Lavery then attacked on the final lap, pushing a big gear and opening a gap of several seconds as he tried to bridge. However the peloton got back to him soon afterwards, and then gobbled up those out front. Several others tried unsuccessfully to get away on the Bemelerberg, before Adam Phelan (Australia) clipped away on a short break.

The riders hit the Cauberg for the final time all part of one group. Austrian rider Georg Preidler put the hammer down and impressively rode off the front, the peloton unable to hang on. Jay McCartney (Australia) managed to drag himself up to the wheel, then after the summit Davide Villella (Italy) and Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio were able to bridge. This led to a slight stall, others also got across and then the bunch came back just after the red kite.

Alexey Lutsenko had dug deep on the climb and had to battle to get into postion but once the sprint opened, he had the right combination of speed and positioning to hit the front at just the right time and hold on. Bryan Coquard was moving considerably faster inside the final 100 metres but started too far back; not even a big lunge to the line was enough to secure the win. The bronze medal went to Tom Van Asbroeck, who held off Hugo Houle, Luke Pibernik and a persistent Esteban Chaves.

Lutsenko said the triumph came after a very consistent season. “I’ve been in great shape all year. I won a stage in the Tour de l’Avenir and a couple of races in Italy, so I was able to sign a contract with the Astana-pro team about a month ago. Next year I’ll try and win my first elite-race. Am I the new Vinokourov? Everything is possible. If I work real hard I think good results as a professional are possible.”

Van Asbroeck was two places off winning but said he was pleased with how things turned out. “Before the race I was hoping for top five. I got a bronze medal so I’m satisfied. The team was disappointed though. The last passage of the Cauberg was tough, I was absolutely broken. My legs weren’t that good anymore but somehow I found the strength for the sprint.”

World road race championships, Valkenburg:

Under 23 road race:

1, Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan) 177.1 kilometres in 4 hours 20 mins 15
2, Bryan Coquard (France)
3, Tom Van Asbroeck (Belgium)
4, Hugo Houle (Canada)
5, Luka Pibernik (Slovenia)
6, Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Colombia)
7, Hernando Bohorquez Sanchez (Colombia)
8, Kenneth Van Bilsen (Belgium)
9, Wouter Wippert (Netherlands)
10, Sam Bennett (Ireland)
11, Patrick Konrad (Austria)
12, Jan Polanc (Slovenia)
13, Soufiane Haddi (Morocco)
14, Moreno Hofland (Netherlands)
15, Haavard Blikra (Norway)
16, Sergei Pomoshnikov (Russian Federation)
17, Silvan Dillier (Switzerland)
18, Lawrence Kalil Warbasse (United States of America)
19, Jay McCarthy (Australia)
20, Michael Valgren Andersen (Denmark)
21, Sven Erik Bystrøm (Norway)
22, Sebastian Lander (Denmark)
23, Janis Dakteris (Latvia)
24, Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden)
25, Michel Koch (Germany)
26, Sean Patrick Downey (Ireland)
27, Arman Kamyshev (Kazakhstan)
28, Ilia Koshevoy (Belarus)
29, Nikias Arndt (Germany)
30, Juan Ernesto Chamorro (Colombia)
31, Kristian Haugaard Jensen (Denmark)
32, Philip Lavery (Ireland)
33, Karel Hnik (Czech Republic)
34, Kirill Yatsevich (Russian Federation)
35, Natnael Brhane Teweldemedhin (Eritrea)
36, Rick Zabel (Germany)
37, Joshua Atkins (New Zealand)
38, Gijs Van Hoecke (Belgium)
39, Fabio Felline (Italy)
40, James Oram (New Zealand)
41, Vegard Breen (Norway)
42, Pit Schlechter (Luxembourg)
43, Nathan Davis Brown (United States of America)
44, Tim Mikelj (Slovenia)
45, Jan Hirt (Czech Republic)
46, Alex Kirsch (Luxembourg)
47, Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spain)
48, Pawel Poljanski (Poland)
49, Gavin Mannion (United States of America)
50, Joshua Edmondson (Great Britain)
51, Jasper Stuyven (Belgium)
52, Warren Barguil (France) all same time
53, Georg Preidler (Austria) at 9 secs
54, Tom Skujins (Latvia) at 15 secs
55, Tom Thill (Luxembourg) at 25 secs
56, Oleksandr Prevar (Ukraine)
57, Eiichi Hirai (Japan)
58, Sergei Chernetski (Russian Federation)
59, Andrei Holubeu (Belarus)
60, Reda Aadel (Morocco)
61, Piotr Gawronski (Poland)
62, Magnus Cort Nielsen (Denmark)
63, Marcel Aregger (Switzerland)
64, Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan)
65, Lukasz Wisniowski (Poland)
66, Josef Cerny (Czech Republic)
67, Louis Meintjes (South Africa)
68, Andris Smirnovs (Latvia)
69, King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong, China)
70, Gennady Tatarinov (Russian Federation)
71, Sebastian Anaya (Venezuela)
72, Sebastian Henao Gomez (Colombia)
73, Pawel Bernas (Poland)
74, Davide Villella (Italy)
75, Daan Olivier (Netherlands)
76, Nikola Kozomara (Serbia) at 31 secs
77, Antoine Duchesne (Canada)
78, Anasse Ait El Abdia (Morocco)
79, Adam Phelan (Australia)
80, Lukas Postlberger (Austria)
81, Anton Vorobyev (Russian Federation)
82, Maxime Daniel (France)
83, Vladislav Gorbunov (Kazakhstan)
84, Emanuel Buchmann (Germany)
85, Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)
86, Jan Sokol (Austria)
87, Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Ethiopia)
88, Jakub Filip (Czech Republic)
89, Eduardo Sepulveda (Argentina)
90, Danny Van Poppel (Netherlands)
91, Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (United States of America)
92, Nikita Umerbekov (Kazakhstan)
93, Damien Howson (Australia)
94, Klemen Stimulak (Slovenia)
95, Mark Dzamastagic (Slovenia)
96, Enrico Barbin (Italy)
97, Scott Thwaites (Great Britain)
98, Jasha Sütterlin (Germany) at 1 min 14 secs
99, Anatoliy Sosnitskiy (Ukraine) at 1 min 35 secs
100, Théo Vimpere (France) at 1 min 43 secs
101, Angelo Tulik (France)
102, Bob Jungels (Luxembourg) at 2 mins 24 secs
103, Andrea Fedi (Italy) at 2 mins 48 secs
104, Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Italy)
105, Thomas Scully (New Zealand) at 3 mins 18 secs
106, Mattia Cattaneo (Italy)
107, Jhonatha Salinas (Venezuela)
108, Simon Yates (Great Britain) at 3 mins 34 secs
109, Salaheddine Mraouni (Morocco) at 4 mins 8 secs
110, Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Denmark) at 6 mins 29 secs
111, Maxat Ayazbayev (Kazakhstan) at 7 mins 16 secs
112, Kim Magnusson (Sweden)
113, Ali Riza Tanriverdi (Turkey) at 9 mins 38 secs
114, Dieter Bouvry (Belgium) at 10 mins 9 secs
115, Nikita Zharoven (Belarus) at 10 mins 18 secs
116, August Jensen (Norway) at 13 mins

Outside time limit:

Adel Barbari (Algeria)
Olivier Le Gac (France)
Panagiotis Chatzakis (Greece)
Tomohiro Kinoshita (Japan)
Takero Terasaki (Japan)
Mieszko Bulik (Poland)
Mats Andersson (Sweden)
Fernando Briceño (Venezuela)

Did not finish:

Rohan Dennis (Australia)
Michael Freiberg (Australia)
Manuel Andres Sanchez Cuevas (Dominican Republic)
Andreas Hofer (Austria)
Jorge Abreu (Venezuela)
Siarhei Safonau (Belarus)
Hillard Cijntje (Netherlands Antilles)
Faycal Hamza (Algeria)
Omar Muhammad Faiz Izzuddin (Malaysia)
Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkifle (Malaysia)
Ki Ho Choi (Hong Kong, China)
Gabriel Chavanne (Switzerland)
Zico Waeytens (Belgium)
Jack Wilson (Ireland)
Filip Eidsheim (Norway)
Jonas Ahlstrand (Sweden)
Andzs Flaksis (Latvia)
Ulises Alfredo Castillo Soto (Mexico)
Sofian Nabil Mohammed Bakri (Malaysia)
Hamidun Hamdan (Malaysia)
Jesper Dahlström (Sweden)
Oleksandr Golovash (Ukraine)
Carlos Eduardo Quisphe-Quisphe (Ecuador)
Armands Becis (Latvia)
Bryan Van Rutten (Netherlands Antilles) ,
Yonder Godoy (Venezuela)
Muhammad Zulhilmie Afif Ahmad Zamri (Malaysia)
Ian Boswell (United States of America)
Nick Aitken (Australia)
Jan Tratnik (Slovenia)
Hiroshi Tsubaki (Japan)
Quinten Winkel (Netherlands Antilles)
David Boily (Canada)


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