Cort just outside the top twenty on stage one in ChinaThu 19 Oct 2017
Vuelta a Espana stage winner Magnus Cort crossed the line in 21st place for ORICA-SCOTT on the first day of racing at the Tour of Guangxi after a short and frenetic stage concluded in a crowded bunch sprint.
The final WorldTour race of the season began on the coast in Beihai and ended with the expected sprint finish after a four-rider breakaway had spent around 90kilometres clear of the peloton.
Fernando Gaviria (QuickStep-Floors) took the win and the first race leaders jersey after coming out on top from a crowded bunch kick to the line, after helping with the initial chase ORICA-SCOTT were out of the top placings with Cort coming home in 21st.
“It was a super fast opening stage with big wide roads,” said sport director Matt Wilson. “And that contributed to how the day unfolded with the early move working hard to go clear, but never really getting much of a gap.”
“The guys did a good job of keeping the leaders within reach and Chris Juul Jensen put in a lot of work at the front to control the situation.
“We got a little swamped there in the end and with such a crowded finish we couldn’t break out to contest the top placings. It’s another relatively flat stage tomorrow albeit longer at 156kilometres and for sure we will be looking to be competitive and aim to be up there in the final.”
How it happened:
Beautiful weather made for a perfect start to the inaugural Tour of Guangxi with a flurry of attacks coming from the flag drop and a four-rider breakaway forming early on.
The peloton paid close attention and after 40kilometres of racing the quartet were being held at one minute.
ORICA-SCOTT took up control of the peloton alongside LottoNL-Jumbo around the halfway point with the gap falling to 40seconds over Guantou Hill and further reducing gradually into the closing 50kilometres.
The breakaway fell apart after the final intermediate sprint with Remy Cavagna (QuickStep-Floors) pushing on alone into the closing 20kilometres.
Cavagna held on until five kilometres to go before being caught by the marauding peloton shaping up for the inevitable bunch sprint that was won by Gaviria who also moved into the race leaders jersey ahead of stage two.
Tour of Guangxi stage one results:
1. Fernando Gaviria (QuickStep-Floors) 02:20:01
2. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) ST
3. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
21. Magnus Cort (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com