Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) took victory at the closing race of the Italian season, the Coppa Agostoni, somewhat surprisingly outpacing Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) in a two-man sprint in Lissone.
The Italian kicked off the winning move with an attack 11 kilometres from the line in the final race of the Trittico Lombardo, taking the Kazakhstani rider with him as a large chase group formed behind.
The duo were fully committed to the escape on the flat run-in, growing their gap to 20 seconds at with five kilometres to run. In the chase, the likes of Alpecin-Fenix and Eolo-Kometa tried to bring it back for a sprint, but the escapees would not be caught.
Trentin led the way onto the closing straight and, given his past sprinting displays looked favourite to add to his September Trofeo Matteotti victory, but it was Lutsenko who prevailed, launching his sprint at 150 metres to go and easily holding off Trentin to win for his second win of the season.
Trentin's teammate and compatriot Alessandro Covi secured the final spot on the podium, leading home the mid-sized chase group 12 seconds later.
How it unfolded
The 74th edition of the Coppa Agostoni, back after a one-year layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visited a familiar 180-kilometre route starting and ending in Lissone and featuring a hilly circuit to the north. The peloton would tackle four laps of the circuit along the way, each featuring an ascent of Sirtori (1.2km at 5.9 per cent), Colle Brianza (3.4km at 6.4 per cent), and Lissol (2.4km at 7.6 per cent).
During the early stages of the day, a breakaway of seven emerged at the head of the race, with Simone Beviilacqua (Vini Zabù), Francesco Carollo (MG.K Vis VPM), Thomas Champion (Cofidis), Federico Burchio (Work Service-Marchiol-Vega), Filippo Fiorelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa), and Floris De Tier (Alpecin-Fenix) making the move. The group never got more than three minutes on the peloton, though, and in the last 100 kilometres the likes of Movistar and Israel Start-Up Nation were busy working in the peloton.
Burchio's time in the break came to an end 80 kilometres out, while solo chaser Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) made it across to bring it back up to seven up front soon after. Over the hilly midsection of the race, which included the climbs of Lissolo, Sirtori, and the Colle Brianza, the break split up as Fortunato, Rota and Champion jumped away.
They didn't stick it out for much longer, though, as the peloton brought it all back with 50 kilometres to go. Movistar continued their work at the front of what was, by that point, a group of only around 30 to 40 riders at the head of the race.
Trentin signalled his good form with a brief attack on the final descent of Sirtori, but he was caught by Movistar ahead of the final climbs of Brianza and Lissolo. Cofidis' Rubén Fernández was next to make a move, but he was caught on Lissolo.
Attacks flew on the climb, which came 25 kilometres from the line. Lutsenko was among them, so too was Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix), and over the top a small lead group had formed with Lutsenko and Covi joined by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and a chasing Trentin, as well as Ben Tulett (Alpecin-Fenix), Rémy Rochas (Cofidis), and Ben Hermans (Israel Start-Up Nation).
The group got a gap of 25 seconds into the last 20 kilometres as Alpecin-Fenix worked behind for Kristian Sbaragli. That chase group were just seconds away from the catch when the winning move eventually went, 11.7 kilometres out.
Trentin jumped off the front and the quickest man to react was Lutsenko as the remainder of the group lagged behind. Within two kilometres, the two chase groups had merged, but their collective strength wasn't enough to overpower the committed leaders, who stayed away to contest the finish among themselves.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech||4:19:44|
|2||Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates|
|3||Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||0:00:12|
|4||Simone Velasco (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo|
|5||Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|6||Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix|
|7||Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|8||Ben Tulett (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix|
|9||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team|
|10||Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
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Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content on Cyclingnews and takes on live race text coverage throughout the season.
Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Tro-Bro Léon, Strade Bianche, and the Vuelta a España.
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