Turkey: Lutsenko climbs to stage 4 win and takes race lead

Alexey Lutsenko wins stage 4 and rides into the overall race lead at the Tour of Turkey.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko is the new leader of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.

The Kazakh all-rounder topped Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Eduard Prades (Euskadi-Murias) in a punchy uphill finish to win stage 4 and take the race leader’s jersey.

“It was a really hard and long stage,” Lutsenko said. “I had good legs and at the top of the final climb, I sprinted for a victory. I’m happy with this victory and for taking the leader jersey at my last race in this season.”

The Tour of Turkey’s fourth stage, a 206.9-kilometer trek from Marmaris to Selçuk, was the first day of the race with a hard enough parcours to bring the climbers to the fore. With the early break all reeled in by the start of the final climb — despite the best efforts of final survivor Grega Bole (Bahrain-Merida) — both the stage win and the GC were up for grabs at the line.

Attacks on the lower slopes of the climb whittled down the lead group, but Lutsenko stayed patient, waiting for the waning moments of the stage to make his move. With the select group still together for the finale, Ulissi and Prades went first in the uphill sprint. Lutsenko, however, had enough left in the tank to surge past and snatch the victory.

He now sits atop the general classification with a four-second advantage over Ulissi, with Prades a further two seconds back in third overall.

The Tour of Turkey continues Saturday with a 137-kilometer stage 5 from Selçuk to Manisa.