Cort sprints to victory on stage three of the Volta a la Comunitat ValencianaFri 3 Feb 2017
Two-time 2016 Vuelta a Espana stage winner Magnus Cort again showed his sprinting pedigree on Spanish soil today, taking the stage three victory for ORICA-SCOTT at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
Danish compatriot and teammate Chris Juul-Jensen was fantastic in leading ORICA-SCOTT into the finale before Luka Mezgec carried Cort into position with the 24-year-old skillfully jumping wheels to get a kick on the competition and take the win by a whisker ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).
“The team rode perfectly today and it is really nice to start the season with a win,” said Cort. “It was pretty technical in the last kilometre and it was very important to be in a good position for the last left hander and it took good work from everyone to get me into position.”
“I am really happy I could finish it off for the team and a big thankyou to the guys for helping me achieve the win.”
The whole ORICA-SCOTT team rode a controlled race never far from the front throughout the stage as acknowledged by sport director Neil Stephens.
“The boys did a fantastic job today,” said Stephens. “We really did well holding our positions, stayed calm and in control when the late attacks were flying and of course Magnus finished it off brilliantly.”
“Magnus is always very strong on his own going into the finale, but Luka Mezgec did a super job of getting him clear of the road furniture and into some space that enabled him to carry his momentum with him.
“We all worked hard and we are fortunate with this team to have different options for different situations, we said at the beginning that we wanted to come here and polish our racing form and there’s no better way to do that than with a win.
“Chris Juul Jensen is really at home pulling in the final third and he did that job beautifully today, it really is his terrain.
“Tomorrow will be a very demanding stage and finish,” concluded Stephens. “Simon Yates took a tumble yesterday, but came through the stage without injury and there are no expectations for us tomorrow. We will be looking to continue our preparation and get through without any issues.”
How it happened:
Fairer conditions welcomed the riders to the start of stage three in Canals and with only 160kilometres ahead the attacks began to spring directly out of the neutral zone.
Finally a six-rider move went clear and after 45kilometres of racing the group had over four minutes on the bunch led by ORICA-SCOTT and Movistar.
The lead of the breakaway fell to around two minutes at the halfway point as the sprinters teams, such as Cofidis, began to take control at the front of the peloton.
As the pace of the pursuit increased, the peloton started to split into various groups with the gap to the leaders slipping under one minute with 45kilometres left to race.
The situation intensified with 25kilometres to go with the attack of Josh Van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo). Jumping clear of the peloton, with the breakaway being held at 40seconds, the Dutchman pushed on and was soon alone out front as the bunch started to pick up the pace behind.
The solo effort didn’t last long and the race came back together with ten kilometres remaining as ORICA-SCOTT jostled for position with Direct-Energie and BMC on the front.
The run in saw Juul-Jensen ride like a man possessed as he led the ORICA-SCOTT line into the finale, fighting off attacks left, right and centre before Cort exploded to take the sprint victory just ahead of Bouhanni and continue his sprint success on Spanish soil.
Tomorrow's fourth stage heads into the mountains and covers 180kilometres from Segorbe to Lucena del Cid in a difficult mountain stage that includes five categorised climbs and a tough summit finish on the brutal category one Mas de la Costa.
Volta a la Valenciana stage 3 results:
1. Magnus Cort 03:49:02
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) ST
3. Bryan Coquard (Direct-Energie) ST
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com