Lutsenko on calendar: ‘Expect a lot of spectacular racing’

Astana rider stuffed books and water bottles into a backpack to do laps on the stairway in his Monaco apartment during lockdown.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko said fans should expect fireworks if racing resumes later this season.

“I think it will be a very exciting season, we expect a lot of spectacular racing, as riders will be pressed for time to show our true worth,” Lutsenko said in a Russian interview. “I hope it will attract even more audience, with such big events as the Olympics and the Euro [championships] postponed until next year.”

After weeks in lockdown, he’s grateful to pack away the home trainer and return to riding on open roads.

“It felt pretty strange for the first half an hour, having been glued to a fixed bike for almost two months, and then all of a sudden, I found myself sharing the road with cars, negotiating all those bumps and turns,” he said. “Skills were quick to return though.”

The Astana rider revealed some unique training efforts during lockdown. He would load up a backpack with water bottles and books to add up to 15kg, and then do four trips up and down the 19-story apartment he lives in Monaco.

“The goal was to keep the engine revving, to keep my [fitness] in general up to the level high enough to restart structured training on the road aimed at peaking from August on,” he said. “I did a pair of two-hour sessions a day, modeled on what I normally do outdoors, [with] sprints and series of various lengths and power. Day in day out; my balcony, my bike, and the smart trainer.”

The 27-year-old confirmed he will race at Strade-Bianche and Milano-Sanremo ahead of a return to the Tour de France. Lutsenko hit podiums in his first two races before racing was stopped due to coronavirus.