• Alexey Lutsenko on the attack. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Astana's Alexey Lutsenko experienced an eventful day at the office as he claimed Stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico.
Cycling Central

17 Mar 2019 - 9:07 AM  UPDATED 17 Mar 2019 - 2:11 PM

The Kazakhstan national champion won the 221km stage from Foligno to Fossombrone in a four-up sprint despite crashing twice during an attempt to win the stage alone.

His rollercoaster day started with approximately 37km left to race when he attacked to take a slim margin ahead of an elite chasing group over the top of the stage's final climb.

First, he misjudged a corner during his descent to the finish but remounted quickly, albeit with a smaller lead. Next came a fall on a corner just outside the last kilometre which caused a regrouping with the chasers, including race leader Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).

"It was a crazy race today, "Lutsenko said. "I felt really good, so I decided to attack, but it was still far to the finish.

"I went in TT mode, but somehow I missed a corner and crashed at the side of the road, but I could only think about moving on and I was able to get on my bike really fast again.

"The second crash was more bad and harder, and this time the three riders behind me including Jakob (team-mate Jakob Fuglsang) were able to come back. But in my head, I still didn’t lose the race, I still believed in a stage win.

"When I won the final sprint and took the victory, I was happy but in a lot of pain at the same time."

Second and third on the day, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and  Yates extended their advantage over challengers Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep).

Equal time bonus earned by Yates and Roglic both en route and at the finish maintained the difference of seven seconds between them.

“It was a hard stage in the end, almost like an Ardennes Classic, up and down all day with steep and twisty roads," Yates said.

“But the guys looked after me all day again, we stayed in a good position where we could and I could save a lot of energy for the final.

“It was a tricky stage, super hard there in the final, Roglic was riding a super high pace and there was only me and Fuglsang who could hang on.

“We’ll have to look at the time gaps, I’m not sure how far the group was behind us, but obviously we still need to take time and I think now my main rival is Roglic, he’s super strong in the TT and he’ll take a lot of time on the last stage, so we have to try tomorrow.”