Cort sprints to seventh on shortened final stage in Valencia

Sun 5 Feb 2017

Volta a la Valenciana stage three winner Magnus Cort finished in seventh place for ORICA-SCOTT on today’s fifth and final stage after strong cross winds at the start brought about a reduced parcours.

What was set to be a route of 130kilometres became a five-lap circuit race in downtown Valencia with Bryan Coquard (Direct-Energie) taking the stage win and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) sealing victory in the overall general classification.

“Obviously the shortened route meant for a change in tactics for the stage,” said Sport director Neil Stephens. “However rider safety is a priority and it was a good decision by the organisers.”

“Our re-planning meant that we wanted to race aggressively on the front to try and bring about a sprint finish and we did that although slight mistiming meant that Magnus ended up being boxed in for the last push.”

Overall the five-day race proved to be successful for ORICA-SCOTT with Cort sprinting brilliantly to victory on stage three after a strong and controlled team performance delivered the 24-year-old into a good position to contest the sprint.

“We have accomplished all our objectives for the week,” continued Stephens. “The cards didn’t fall our way today, but we came here looking to fine tune our race preparation and get some serious competition under our belts.”

“The victory on stage three was the icing on the cake for us and we saw some great lead out work from Luka Mezgec and Jens Keukeleire combining well for Magnus.

“We are still in the preparation phase and all in all we are happy with how this race has gone, the attitude from the team has been first class and there are positive signs for the rest of the season.”

The team came through the week without issue with 27-year-old Chris Juul Jensen climbing well on the arduous queen stage finishing in 22nd place after early attacks by Adam Yates and Michael Albasini kick started the day’s breakaway.

Simon Yates took a tumble in wet conditions on stage four and thankfully was able to continue without injury whilst road captain and 2016 Paris-Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman was able to intensify his training for the spring with some race kilometres.

How it happened:

Dangerously strong winds at the start of today’s final stage brought into play the extreme weather protocol with the organisers taking the decision to shorten the 130kilometre to route to five circuits of downtown Valencia.

A fast criterium style race followed with an early attack by Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors) gaining a slim advantage over the peloton that he held until 20kilometres to go.

As the catch was about to be made Michael Kwiatkowski (Team-Sky) attacked from the bunch and linked up with Keisse pushing the gap out towards 20seconds.

Remarkably the pair held their advantage until the last kilometre when the efforts of ORICA-SCOTT on the front of the peloton finally paid off and the duo were caught and passed.

The final few hundred metres were hectic with Coquard taking the sprint for the stage win and Cort in seventh place.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage 5 results:

1. Bryan Coquard (Direct-Energie) 01:01:23

2. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) ST

3. Coen Vermeltfoort (Rompoot) St

7. Magnus Cort (ORICA-SCOTT) ST

Final General Classification:

1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 15:21:49

2. Ben Hermans (BMC) 00:00:13

3. Manuel Senni (BMC) 00:00:32

25. Chris Juul Jensen (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:06:17

Photos courtesy of ©