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Cort wins again in Spain after textbook lead out from ORICA-SCOTT

Sun 12 Feb 2017

Magnus Cort continued his spectacular form on Spanish soil today, sprinting to an impressive victory for ORICA-SCOTT in the 32nd Clasica de Almeria.

A perfectly executed finale saw the Australian outfit control the race through the finishing circuits. First with Sam Bewley and Chris Juul Jensen, then 2016 Paris Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman and Luka Mezgec provided a textbook lead out for Cort to sprint to his second victory of the season.

“It is a really great feeling to win again,” said Cort. “It was a long race and the team were fantastic in the finale, I couldn’t have asked for a better lead out and I am really happy that I could finish it off.”

A three-man breakaway went clear early on before the race came back together inside the final third to set up a thrilling finale.

“The boys were outstanding today,” said Sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “Everyone was involved, we knew beforehand that we would have to work on the finishing circuits and the team took control beautifully.”

“Once the breakaway came back we stuck to our plan religiously. Magnus is full of confidence after a great start to the season with his win last week in Valencia and you could see that with the way he finished it off today.

“At the halfway point we decided how we would like to approach the finish and it’s very satisfying to see the guys not only execute the race plan, but execute it perfectly and come away with the win. It bodes well for the rest of the season, that’s for sure.”

How it happened:

The 32nd edition of the Clasica de Almeria got underway with three riders attacking immediately out of the neutral zone. The peloton sat back, happy to let the trio push on with 190kilometres ahead and after two hours of racing the gap stood at ten minutes.

Strong winds along the coast did not appear to impede the progress of the breakaway, still seven minutes ahead past the halfway point with two categorised climbs still to come before the finish.

The peloton began to cut the advantage of three leaders with 60kilometres to go, finally making the catch 40kilometes later.

A sprint finish was now on the cards and the battle for position dictated the velocity of the closing kilometres as the bunch sped through two finishing circuits in Roquetas de Mar.

Juul Jensen and Bewley led the ORICA-SCOTT train at the front of the peloton with less than ten kilometres to go, jostling for position with Direct-Energie and Lotto-Soudal.

The 27-year-old Dane pulled over with three kilometres remaining with Jens Keukeleire, Hayman then Mezgec taking the reigns, delivering Cort into a perfect position to emphatically finish off the sprint and take the win.

Clasica de Almeria results:

1. Magnus Cort (ORICA-SCOTT) 04:31:22

2. Rudiger Selig (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST

3. Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal) ST

Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com

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