Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko, who won back-to-back stages earlier in the week, hit the trifecta at the Tour of Oman after the defending champion claimed his third stage win in five days, and all but sealed a successful title defence with one day remaining.
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However, the 26-year-old Kazakh was overcome with emotion after pointing with both hands toward the sky at finish on Green Mountain.
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Podium / Alexey Lutsenko of Kazahkstan and Astana Pro Team / Celebration / during the 10th Tour of Oman 2019, Stage 5 a 152km stage from Samayil to Jabal Al Akhdhar - Green Mountain 1235m / TOO2019 / @tourofoman / on February 20, 2019 in Jabal Al Akhdhar,

Image credit: Getty Images

“First of all, I want to dedicate this victory to my wife, who had a miscarriage of our twins last December,” shared Lutsenko following Stage 5 (152km).
With these three wins, I want to honour them all three. My wife and I went through a very difficult time together, it was very hard.
"The team supported me all the time in this period, and I’m happy I can reward them as well for this support.”
With a gradient average exceeding 10 percent, Lutsenko tried three times on the final 5.7km climb to attack the splintered field and bridge the gap to Frenchman Fabien Grellier (Direct Énergie). However, it was not until Italian Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) joined him in the chase when the attack stuck.

: Arrival / Alexey Lutsenko of Kazahkstan and Astana Pro Team Red Leader Jersey / Celebration / during the 10th Tour of Oman 2019, Stage 5 a 152km stage from Samayil to Jabal Al Akhdhar - Green Mountain 1235m / TOO2019 / @tourofoman / on February 20, 2019

Image credit: Getty Images

"It was a perfect race for us, as everything went exactly how we planned,” said Lutsenko, who caught Grellier inside the final 100 metres to the mountain side finish. "The team protected me very well until the second part of the climb and then it was up to me to follow my most important rivals. My main goal was to keep the red jersey, but when I saw the last man from the breakaway just in front of me, I gave it my all and took the victory.
It was an important and emotional victory for me and the team, and now we focus on tomorrow to secure the overall win.
With the victory, not only has Lutsenko all but wrapped up his second straight Tour of Oman title with a 44-second lead on Pozzovivo, he also wrested the green points jersey from opening stage winner Alexander Kristoff, who now trails Lutsenko by 12 points leading into Thursday’s 135.5km sprint finale in Matrah Corniche.
As he expected, Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data) is no longer the ‘best young rider’ jersey. The 24-year-old South African surrendered the white jersey to Frenchman Élie Gesbert (Arkéa Samsic). Gibbons first topped the youth classification following a podium finish on Stage 2, however the sprinter dropped to fifth in the standings after the gruelling climb.
For full stage and race results, click here.
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