Cort completes Vuelta hattrick

Dane takes third stage win after a thrilling day in the break

“It’s a dream and I hope I don’t wake up.” Those were the first words Magnus Cort could muster up after completing his hat trick of stage wins at this year’s Vuelta a España on a thrilling stage 19 finale. 

 

The penultimate road stage of this year’s Vuelta was always going to be a hard one, with many teams looking to get the stage victory. Stage 19 also came off the back of a number of challenging mountain stages. 

 

“I feel all right,” said Cort before the stage. “The body and the legs are a bit tired with two mountain stages before. It’s the same for everyone and it should be all right.”

With an uphill start, the peloton got out to a hot start and seemed to quickly forget the efforts from the previous days. A large breakaway formed on the first climb of the day and included Magnus Cort and teammate, Lawson Craddock. The break was never able to build much of a gap on the reduced peloton behind who were keeping them on a tight leash. 

 

“Fortunately, Magnus and I got in the break,” said Craddock. “It was extremely difficult and extremely fast all day. The bunch never gave us much time.”

 

With 60 kilometers to go in the race, it was touch and go for the break with Team DSM reducing the gap to around one minute. Too big to survive, the break started to whittle down and after over 40 kilometers of fast and furious racing, the final selection was made in the front group. The group included seven strong riders including our two EF Education-NIPPO riders from the original break.

“It’s a dream and I hope I don’t wake up.”

The gap would continue to come down over the ensuing 20 kilometers with Craddock doing a brilliant job not only closing down any gaps that would form in the break but also driving the group ahead once the gaps were bridged. It wasn’t until the closing six kilometers that Magnus Cort said he was starting to trust their chances to make it to the line ahead. 

 

“It was not before the last 5 or 6 kilometers that I started believing we could win,” explained Cort. “It was a really hard day, and we didn’t always work perfectly together in the front. We had a few attacks and then reduced the size of the group. In the end, I think everybody had tired legs and it was hard to work well together on this hilly terrain but somehow we managed to hang onto it.”

 

 

Guided by Lawson Craddock around the last couple of turns, Magnus launched a perfectly timed sprint with 150-meters to go and ultimately beat Rui Oliveira (UAE) and Quinn Simmons (TFS) at the line. This is his twenty-first career win and sixth Vuelta stage win, a race that clearly seems to agree with the Dane.

“I have to thank my teammate Lawson Craddock for doing an amazing job. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him in the breakaway today,” said Cort. 

 

Both hands raised over his head at the line, Craddock was able to soak in the win after a brilliant effort all day.

 

“I’m so happy Magnus finished it off today. Third stage win. Pretty good Vuelta,” he said at the line. “Have you seen his mustache? With a stache like that, you can’t lose.”

 

What a stache, what a race, what a Vuelta for our squad.