Cort shows consistency with seventh on stage four of the BinckBank TourThu 10 Aug 2017
That's three top ten finishes out of four for Grand Tour stage winner Magnus Cort at the BinckBank Tour with the ORICA-SCOTT rider sprinting to seventh place on today’s stage four in another reduced and hectic finale.
A super fast fourth stage was distinguished by numerous early attacks over the first 90kilometres before a three-rider breakaway managed to go clear.
The trio did not enjoy much of a lead or much respite as the attentive peloton brought them back with less than 30kilometres to go. More attacks followed before a very late catch was made by a reduced bunch looking to set up the sprint over the last 200metres.
Lead out specialist Roger Kluge was last man for Cort and persevered to keep the fast finishing Dane as close to the front as possible as the sprint kicked into action.
Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) ran out the eventual winner with Cort again finishing strongly to take seventh place. Stefan Kung (BMC) held onto the race lead with no big changes occurring on the general classification with three stages remaining.
“It was a really fast and nervous stage today,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “The pace didn’t ease up at all and the weather conditions being so dismal only added to the tension. We decided early on that it was going to be important to look after ourselves and come through the day somewhere up near the front, protecting Jens Keukeleire and not losing any time on our rivals.”
“The boys did a great job in fulfilling that task, once the trio went clear there was a brief, and I mean brief respite, but then the pace kicked up again and the attacks started once more into the final.
“Roger played it beautifully with Magnus in the end and dropped him into a great position. They didn’t panic and stuck well to the task in hand and Magnus was up there in the top ten yet again showing his consistency and desire to compete.
“Tomorrow could be a really good opportunity for the breakaway and we will have to race attentively, if it comes down to a sprint we will be up there and ready to try again, but it’s an interesting parcours and the conditions could well be wet again.”
How it happened:
A wet start to stage four saw an attack filled and active first couple of hours of racing before a three man breakaway finally went clear, with less than 100kilometres left to race the trio had around two minutes on the peloton.
The fast pace did not relent and neither did the drizzling rain, as the race hit the final 50kilometres the three out front had been pegged back to around one minute 25seconds.
The leaders included sprinter Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and the big German continued to take huge turns at the front in a bid to hold the Team-Sky led peloton at bay, but it was to no avail the race came back together with 25kilometres to go.
BMC took it up with 15kilometres to go with Bora-Hansgrohe in close attendance and ORICA-SCOTT up near the front of the strung out peloton.
A crazy attacked filled final ten kilometres followed as first Alex Dowsett (Movistar) then Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step-Floors) tried their luck off the front going into the technical finale.
Dowsett was caught, but Lampaert held ten seconds with less than two kilometres remaining before being caught in the final 200metres with Theuns winning the reduced bunch sprint and Cort up there again for a top ten finish.
BinckBank Tour stage four results:
1. Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) 03:24:23
2. Marko Kump (Team-UAE) ST
3. Tim Merlier (Veranda-Willems-Crelan) ST
7. Magnus Cort (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage four:
1. Stefan Kung (BMC) 11:39:31
2. Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) 00:00:04
3. Tom Dumoulin (Team-Sunweb) 00:00:05
20. Alexander Edmondson (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:00:26
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com