A heat-shimmered transition stage finished in an honest-to-goodness blanket sprint finish, and the twelfth maiden grand tour victory of this Vuelta. Top step of the podium went to the Dane Magnus Cort who rode the rival Giant Alpecin sprint train before launching left for a long, LONG sprint to the line. His power, pace and timing was enough to hold off Nikias Arndt and Jempy Drucker. There was no change on GC as the leaders saved their energy for the race of truth tomorrow.
Rider of the race
Magnus Cort has been on my ‘Danes to Watch’ list since the time I saw him take out a sprint on stage one of his home tour in 2013. I’ve not been disappointed. It’s been a real thrill to follow his development with ORICA-BikeExchange since he joined in 2015. The first top ten placings at WorldTour races in his debut year. Watching him come through the Arenberg Trench in the breakaway with his captain and Paris Roubaix winner Matt Hayman this spring . It’s been a clear upward progression.
Without doubt this Vuelta has been a breakthrough for the Bornholm islander. Third in the sprint on stage 2 and millimetres from the red jersey. A key player in the team raid on the Aubisque stage. Entering hell in the break again yesterday, and now a stage win in his first ever grand tour. It’s no wonder his nickname on the team is now Big Power! Click here for the video
However, what really sealed the deal for this award [yes, just being Danish isn’t enough!] is the fact that this win comes in the third week of a gruelling Vuelta. That’s something rare for a 23 year old facing his first three week foray, and bodes very well for the future.
What that future may hold was summed up post stage …
It means a lot. All young riders dream of winning, they have to show that they can win races. It’s fantastic to get such a big win this early in my career. I’m still young and growing. I’m living a dream. I’m a decent sprinter but not as fast as the top sprinters but I climb better than some guys so hopefully I will develop as a Belgium classics specialist
Look out for the name in the Spring Classics, and I wouldn’t bet against him being there again in Madrid either. Tillykke and kom så Magnus.
You can follow Magnus on Twitter, and DO look out for the Backstage Pass tomorrow.
Stopped in our tracks
This tweet from Giant-Alpecin’s Chad Haga about the time trial at Calpe tomorrow stopped us in our tracks.
Chad and five other team mates were involved in a serious road accident whilst at their training camp in January. How very thankful we are that the team came out of that dreadful day and are gracing the peloton. Good luck tomorrow Chad.
1 Magnus Cort (ORICA-Bikexhange) 4:54:31
2 Nikais Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) same time
3 Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC) s/t
4 Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) s/t
5 Jonas van Genechten (IAM) s/t
1 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 74:30:03
2 Chris Froome (SKY) +3:37
3 Esteban Chaves (ORICA-BikeExchange) +3:57
4 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) +4:02
5 Simon Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) +6:03
Points leader: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
King of the Mountains leader: Kenny Elissonde (FDJ)
Combined classification leader: Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
Team classification leader: BMC
Stage’s Most Combative: Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek-Segafredo)
For full stage review: Cycling News
Header image :Magnus Cort – Photo by Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty Images