Cort Nielsen was one of the few pure sprinters who arrived in the leading group to Ciudad Rodrigo, after a great pursuit of the escaped Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), hunted 2 kilometers from the finish, and imposed his legs in a fight in which razed.
The Dane scored his third stage victory in La Vuelta, having already scored a double in 2016. In addition, his current team, EF Pro Cycling, is confirmed as one of the best in this Spanish round thanks to three stages; Cort Nielsen’s plus Michael Woods and Hugh Carthy, who still aspires to win the overall.
The arrival in Ciudad Rodrigo was quick and was led by the Movistar Team. After talking about it among themselves, as José Joaquín Rojas recognized at the end of the stage, Alejandro Valverde was the bet for the final victory but the Murcian, who was in the lead too alone and too soon, was finally fifth.
As expected, there was a leak. Of the good break, those who held the most Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) together with Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal), Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott) and Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step). These last two, already climbing Puerto El Robledo (1st), held the guy despite the fact that the peloton was already rolling less than a minute.
A group of favorites that INEOS-Grenadiers pulled, first, until the UAE-Team Emirates took the reins and later it was the Movistar Team who tried to put an end to the break. But the initial relaxation, on the one hand, and Cavagna’s faith made it no easy hunt.
In fact, in the end, they caught the prey with 2 kilometers to go. ‘Chapeau’, Cavagna. The Gaul was squeezed and gave quite a show, and he only lacked one more gram of energy, or that behind there was some doubt, to seat the chair. Second day of hitting the pole for the Deceuninck-Quick Step, as Mattia Cattaneo was hunted in the previous stage 3.4 from the finish line.
ROGLIC ALMOST SENT THE RED
For his part, the leader Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) almost sentenced La Vuelta in this penultimate stage. He painted that there would be ambushes from the Movistar Team, or EF Pro Cycling. But the legs, the route, and the rest of the conditions avoided it. In the end, Roglic not only defended himself but also gained seconds on the margin.
The Slovenian got into the fight for stage victory. He saw that Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) wanted to be in front and he stayed alert. Valverde squeezed, Rui Costa and Cort Nielsen were going for the win but, with his faith, he overtook the Portuguese at the end and was second, adding 6 seconds that leave him, now, with a margin of 45 over Carapaz and 53 over Hugh Carthy.
Differences that will be tested this Saturday in the seventeenth and penultimate stage, between Sequeros and Alto de La Covatilla over 178.2 kilometers. Hard course, with six ports.
The Puerto del Portillo de las Batuecas (1st) will open the ‘show’, three levels of 3rd will heat up the atmosphere so that the Alto de la Garganta (2nd) anticipates movements before the final climb to La Covatilla, a Special of 11, 4 kilometers at 7.1 percent and ramps at 12 percent.
1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (DIN / EF Pro Cycling) 4:04:35.
2. Primoz Roglic (SVN / Team Jumbo-Visma) mt
3. Rui Costa (POR/UAE-Team Emirates) m.t.
4. Dion Smith (NZE/Mitchelton-Scott) m.t.
5. ALEJANDRO VALVERDE (ESP / Movistar Team) mt
1. Primoz Roglic (SVN / Team Jumbo-Visma) 64:20:31.
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU/INEOS Grenadiers) a 45.
3. Hugh Carthy (GBR/EF Pro Cycling) 53.
4. Daniel Martin (IRL/Israel Start-Up Nation) 1:48.
5. ENRIC MAS (ESP / Movistar Team) 3:29.