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Young Dane is one of two survivors from the early breakaway who latches onto an aggressive Bak and the trio holds off the peloton with Cort emerging as the fastest






31.07.2013 @ 17:28 Posted by Frederik Palle Pedersen

Magnus Cort Nielsen (Team Cult Energy) delivered a huge surprise in the first stage of the Tour of Denmark as the young Dane managed to take the win and the first leader's jersey in a stage that was destined to end in a mass sprint. Having latched onto an aggressive Lars Bak (Lotto-Belisol) who was riding to gain time on GC, the 20-year old rider had enough left in the tank to win the sprint to get a very surprising moment in the spotlight.


All was set for a big showdown between the giant sprinters Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) Theo Bos (Belkin), Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp), Sacha Modolo (Bardiani) and Bryan Coquard (Europcar) but when the podium ceremony was held at the end of the first stage of the Tour of Denmark, it was 20-year old Magnus Cort Nielsen who was celebrated as the day's big winner. The young Dane took a hugely surprising win on a day that was completely dominated by the home riders.


Cort had joined an early escape and when Lars Bak bridged across on the finishing circuit, he latched onto the Lotto express and those two riders reeled in Nikola Aistrup (Concordia-Riwal) who had escaped from the break a little earlier. With Bak doing all the work, that trio held off the peloton and Cort emerged as the fastest when the win was decided in a three-rider sprint.


The peloton rolled across a 10 seconds later and all the big sprinters had to acknowledge their defeat. With the win Cort takes the first yellow jersey which he will try to defend in tomorrow's second stage which has an uphill finish but should be one for the sprinters to take their revenge.


6 riders attack

The Tour of Denmark kicked off with a 180km stage from Silkeborg to Varde which was almst completely flat and so everybody expected it to end up in a bunch sprint. Hence, it was mostly the Danish continental teams that showed any interest in getting into the day's early break.


Cort, Magnus Kilsgaard (Danish national team), Jimmi Sørensen (Danish national team) and Aistrup were joined by the established WorldTour rider Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil) and those 5 riders escaped inside the first 10km of the stage. Frederik Plesner (Team Tre-For) bridged across to form a 6-rider break which was allowed to build up a gap of more than 3 minutes over the peloton which was led by Bos' Belkin team.


Cort takes the mountains jersey

Aistrup is defending champion in the KOM competition but the Dane was degeated by Cort and Plesner in the day's only KOM sprint. Hence, Cort not only took the yellow but also the KOM jersey in today's stage.


After 70km, the riders hit a piece of gravel roads which saw a number of punctures in both the peloton and the breakaway but soon after both groups were back together. With 100km to go, the gap was almost 4 minutes but had now started to come down again.


Ligthart the king of the intermediate sprints

Ligthart won both intermediate sprints and that was enough for him to make sure that he will start tomorrow's stage in the blue points jersey.


During the next kilometres, the race settled into a steady rhythm where the gap hovered around the 2-minute mark. Belkin and Omega Pharma-Quick Step had now taken responsibility for the chase.


Bak attacks

When the break approached Varde, the gap had come down to just a minute and that was when Bak saw his opportunity to attack. As the peloton reached the finishing city, the Dane attacked and soon after he was 30 seconds ahead of the main group.


Up ahead, Aistrup had also attacked and the Condordia rider was the first to cross the line to start the first of four laps on the finishing circuit. Bak caught the remnants of the break and went straight by, Cort being the only rider able to follow the established Danish star. Those two riders caught Aistrup and were 20 seconds ahead of their chasers with 5km to go.


Bak rides for GC

Bak did all the work in the front trio and with 4km to go, the gap was 27 seconds. The Lotto rider was riding for the GC while his companions were only focused on the GC.


The peloton never managed to catch the escapees and Cort emerged as the fastest ahead of Aistrup and Bak. 10 seconds later, Coquard beat Modolo in the peloton's sprint to take fourth but the day belonged to the surprising Danish winner.



1. Magnus Cort Nielsen

2. Nikola Aistrup

3. Lars Bak

4. Bryan Coquard +0.10

5. Sacha Modolo


General classification:

1. Magnus Cort Nielsen


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