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Paris-Nice. Stage 4. Magnus Cort takes stage win with an impressive solo finish

After being part of the breakaway for almost 200 kilometers, Magnus Cort won stage 4 of Paris-Nice after an impressive attack in the final kilometer, surprising the three other escapees. It’s the first victory of the season for the Danish rider of Astana Pro Team, and the sixteenth win for the team in 2019 so far, making it the most successful start of the season for the Kazakh team.

- It was not a real plan to do something in this stage, but for sure I knew this day could suit me quite well and from the start of the stage, I was up there in the front, following the attacks. We went away quite early in the stage, I think after 10 or 15 kilometers we were already there with a small gap. At first, a group of riders attacked to create a small advantage and later me with four more guys were able to catch them. So, on the first climb of the day, we went clear. I felt quite good today and, in the breakaway, we managed to work well together. There were a few really strong guys in our group, so I had to be attentive to all of them. In the end, after 200 kilometers in the break, you never know how your legs could answer in the sprint, so I decided to anticipate with an attack inside the final kilometer. It was a good move and I was able to take the win! I am very happy with this victory, it is my first win this year, but as you could see the team started this season pretty well and I am happy to bring one more win to the team. We still have some GC ambitions in this race with Luis Leon Sanchez staying good at the second place. He is motivated, and we will do our best to support him, - said Magnus Cort.

- Paris-Nice is one of the main goals of the team at the start of the season, it is like a first repetition of the Tour de France and we aimed to come here in a good form. The team is doing a very nice race, all riders work hard for our common success. Today we knew it could be a good day for us and Magnus Cort realized his chance in this race! So far, we have a very good start of the season and today Magnus brought the team its 16th victory in 2019. We are happy to bring this new victory to all our sponsors and partners and, especially, to our general partner Samruk Kazyna as a present for our Kazakh holiday Nauryz! - said sports director Dmitriy Fofonov.

Stage 4 was the longest stage of this year’s Paris-Nice, covering a total of 212 kilometers. A group of thirteen riders including Magnus Cort got clear at the first climb of the day, after 18 kilometers of racing. They gained a maximum advantage of 7 minutes during the day but going into the final 10 kilometers, the peloton tried to close the gap with the breakaway. It was close, with just 40 seconds advantage for the break in the end, which was enough to race for the stage win.

With an explosive attack in the final kilometer, Magnus Cort surprised the three other riders who were still there from the early break. With an impressive solo finish, he secured his first win of the season and the sixteenth victory for Astana Pro Team so far in 2019. Thomas De Gendt finished second, Giulio Ciccone third. Michal Kwiatkowski is the new race leader, just five seconds in front of Luis Leon Sanchez.

Tomorrow the riders will go for a Time Trial of 25.5 kilometers with start and finish in the town of Barbentane.  


Photo: ©Getty Images

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