Alexey Lutsenko says he ‘didn’t make any mistake in the final’ after missing out to Tadej Pogačar

The Kazakhstani rider lost the stage in the very final moment

(Image credit: Zuma Press/PA Images)

Alexey Lutsenko said he “did not make any mistake in the final” after he was beaten by Tadej Pogačar on stage five of the UAE Tour 2020.

Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) triumphed after a tense battle on the slopes of Jebel Hafeet, during the second ascent of the climb in this year’s edition of the WorldTour race.

Astana rider Lutsenko sprinted from the final turn at the summit and looked to have the race sewn up, but he slowed at the line as he raised an arm in celebration, allowing his Slovenian rival to sneak past and take the stage.

Speaking after the stage, Lutsenko said: “Of course, I feel disappointed because I was really close to a stage win today.

“But at the same time I know that I didn’t make any mistake in the final and I gave my all in that sprint, so I have no regrets.

“I’ve never experienced that before, but today after crossing the finish line I fell down completely exhausted. I did my maximum today, I did not win but I can be proud with my performance on this climb.”

The final of stage five came down to a fight between five riders – Lutsenko, Pogačar, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team.

But it was Lutsenko, Yates and Pogačar who proved themselves the strongest as the trio sprinted for the line.

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Yates found himself boxed in, while Lutsenko look to have taken the stage with a strong sprint, but Pogačar’s determination saw him steal the win in the closing moments.

Sports manager at Astana, Dmitriy Fofonov, said: “Alexey did a phenomenal stage and his performance on the last climb was impressive. He is still looking for his first stage win of the season, but I am sure that with the form he has now and the with the way he is improving, he will get it soon.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.