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Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields. Strong effort by Cort and Valgren doesn’t pay off

In the 80th edition of the race, Magnus Cort and Michael Valgren finished just behind the first group of winner Peter Sagan, finishing 24th and 26th. After the final Kemmelberg climb a group of riders took off and formed a group of 23 riders including some riders of the day’s breakaway. Alexey Lutsenko, Michael Valgren and Magnus Cort tried to close the gap to this group in the final part of the race, but even with an attack of Valgren and Cort together with Alexander Kristoff didn’t pay off, as they finished 50 seconds behind the first group.

It was a stressful day, because we tried to stay in the first group until the final, but when the final was there with the second climb on the Kemmelberg I was too far in the back. Then we tried everything to get back in the first group, but we couldn’t do it today. The team helped me very well today, so I’m disappointed we didn’t make it at the end,- told Magnus Cort.

Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields, the 80th version of this classic race started in Deinze for a 251-kilometer-long race to Wevelgem. With Magnus Cort as the leader of today’s race, the team had to challenge multiple climbs and cobblestones sectors. The day’s breakaway of 6 riders took off after an hour of fast racing right from the official start. After the breakaway was created, the peloton slowed down.

At the end it all came down to the final, as the second climb of the Kemmelberg was decisive. A group with Peter Sagan, Elia Viviani and Arnaud Demare (today’s podium) got clear of the peloton, while the riders of Astana Pro Team were just behind the split. After the climb Alexey Lutsenko, Michael Valgren and Magnus Cort tried to close the gap to this group in the final part of the race, but even with an attack of Valgren and Cort together with Alexander Kristoff didn’t pay off, as they finished 50 seconds behind the first group (24th and 26th place).

Obviously we were hoping for more. The weather conditions were not in our advantage, as a harder race would have suited Magnus Cort better. But at the end we missed today’s decisive breakaway at the Kemmelberg, so that’s just how it is. Now we look forward for the next Belgium classics that still have to come,- said sports director, Lars Michaelsen.

 

Photo credit: Bettiniphoto

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