Cort sprints to fourth from depleted bunch on stage four in Turkey

Wed 29 Apr 2015

Danish neo-pro Magnus Cort has sprinted to fourth place from a depleted peloton on stage four of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) came from a long way back to claim his first victory of the Tour ahead of Daniele Colli (Nippo – Vini Fantini) and Daniele Ratto (United Healthcare).

ORICA-GreenEDGE began the day in support of Cort, recognising the 22-year-old’s ability to get over the final climb, which despite being unclassified saw many of the pure sprinters including teammate Caleb Ewan and two-time 2015 stage winner Mark Cavendish lose contact.

“We made the right plan today,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said. “It showed the last climb was hard for the sprinters.”

Cort was supported into the final kilometre by former track world champion Cameron Meyer and surprise packet Christian Meier who has proved he can do it all over the last three days.

“The team did a great job,” Lapage said. “We had Cam and Christian, who are not normally lead out guys, with Magnus in the finish and Magnus had a good sprint, it was a good result for him.”

“We said to Christian not to do any work during the stage because it is always nervous on the last climb and we wanted him to race aggressive and be aware when breakaways went.

“Once he got over that climb and Magnus was still with him he knew he had to do everything he could to put Magnus in a good position for the sprint and that’s what he did.”

Earlier in the day, six leaders formed after just five kilometres of racing. They established a three and a half minute advantage after 20km but with teams hoping to soften up the peloton on the only classified climb of the day, their advantage quickly dropped.

As the pressure was laid down on the ascent, the peloton split into the pieces, the first group just 18seconds behind the six leaders.  The race briefly reformed before a second break of six was initiated.

They remained in front, but under control, for much of the remaining 131.9km stage; eventually caught and spat out by a feisty peloton on the unclassified but tough climb with 11.5km to go.

Five riders, including two general classification threats in Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka) escaped over the top but were denied as a depleted peloton shut down the move.

ORICA-GreenEDGE led the catch courtesy of Meyer before Meier then briefly took the reigns in support of Cort. In the last hundred metres Greipel proved too strong for all, taking the victory by a couple of bike lengths.

Tomorrow’s fifth stage is likely to see racing back to a full bunch sprint although with general classification still in the air, a climb with 25km to go may prove crucial before a 20km downhill run into the finish ahead of a short uphill drag to the line.