Cort close again with third on stage three in ChinaSat 21 Oct 2017
The law of averages dictates that a win may be coming for ORICA-SCOTT at the Tour of Guangxi as Magnus Cort came close yet again in a tightly contested sprint with the Dane taking third place on stage three.
Stage three retuned to a predominantly flat urban circuit around Nanning with another early breakaway move going up the road over the first 20kilometres.
The move included Jack Haig for ORICA-SCOTT with the Australian GC hopeful looking to gain some bonus seconds. The trio stayed away until past the halfway point before fresh impetus from the peloton brought the move back.
Attacks peppered the closing kilometres, but as expected the race was altogether and lined out for a bunch sprint with less than five kilometres remaining.
Race leader Fernando Gaviria (QuickStep-Floors) took his third straight victory in a close sprint with Cort finishing strongly for a solid third place.
“It was a really good performance and result for us today,” said sport director Matt Wilson. “It was the plan to try and get Jack into the early move and try to gain some bonus seconds ahead of tomorrow’s big GC day. Every second counts and he did really well to make sure he was up there.”
“When the race came back together it was all about the sprint again and the boys did a great job of positioning Magnus in the final and he did everything right. He hit out at the right time, but was just beaten by a faster sprinter on the day, but I think we got the best possible result out of today’s stage.
“Tomorrow is an important stage, after three days of the focus being on the sprinters it now shifts to the overall contenders and a summit finish. Jack is going very well and feeling good and we’ll give our best to get a result.”
How it happened:
The race made a return to inner city criterium style racing on stage three with a four-circuit course running through downtown Nanning City.
Another short and fast day was on the cards with a flurry of attacks coming straight out of the neutral zone, Haig was alive to the action and formed a three rider breakaway alongside Daniel Oss (BMC) and Nuno Bico (Movistar).
The trio held two minutes over the bunch after 25kilometres of racing, but saw that advantage halved by the halfway point with LottoNL-Jumbo and QuickStep-Floors leading the chase.
With less than 55kilometres to go the peloton ramped up the speed and caught the leaders with fresh attacks coming immediately and finally a pair of riders breaking clear inside the final 25kilometres.
The duo held onto to a slender lead going into the last ten kilometres, but the sprinters team’s won out, making the catch with five kilometres to go as the bunch sped into the finale with Gaviria claiming his third win of the race.
Tour of Guangxi stage three results:
1. Fernando Gaviria (QuickStep-Floors) 02:41:57
2. Max Walscheid (Team-Sunweb) ST
3. Magnus Cort (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
Tour of Guangxi general classification after stage three:
1. Fernando Gaviria (QuickStep-Floors) 08:45:22
2. Silvan Dillier (BMC-Racing-Team) +0:13
3. Max Walscheid (Team-Sunweb) +0:18
6. Magnus Cort (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:26
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com