Magnus Cort wins stage ten of the Giro d’Italia
The Dane sprinted to victory after a heroic breakaway in the Italian grand tour
Magnus “King” Cort did it.
After a heroic breakaway on icy, rain-slicked roads, Magnus sprinted to his first Giro d’Italia stage win and joined the club of riders who have won stages in all three grand tours.
“I’m incredibly happy about the win,” Magnus said afterward. “Today was such a hard day. It was one of the hardest stages I’ve done on a bike. To end up with a win is unbelievable.”
Magnus wanted this one for years.
This morning, he rode off into the cold and wet, knowing that today was his chance to complete his collection of grand tour stage wins. He had six at the Vuelta and two at the Tour de France, but a victory at the Giro d’Italia had so far eluded him.
Weather wasn’t going to stop Magnus. It was three degrees and raining at the top of the Passo delle Radici, the high point of the stage, which crossed from Scandiano, in Emilia-Romagna, over the Tuscan Appenines to Viareggio on the Tyrrenhian coast. The organizers had considered shortening the race to spare the peloton from such foul conditions. Magnus was undaunted. He wanted his victory.
On the early slopes of the Radici, he rode across to the break, barely able to see them through the downpour. By the summit, they were a group of four with over five minutes. As the sprinters left in the peloton tried to organize a chase, Magnus and his companions pushed on and tried to stay off the brakes in the freezing wet corners.
“We were just pushing all day,” Magnus said. “First, it was a big fight to get in the breakaway. Secondly, we wanted to push to the summit of today’s stage to see if we could break the peloton and make the sprinters stop chasing. We got a bit of a time gap, but not enough, so they kept chasing us. Sitting with four and then three guys and pretty much going with all we had for four or five hours—it was a very, very tough day.”
Magnus’s sports director and friend Matti Breschel just tried to stay calm back in the team car. With 30 kilometers to go, the peloton had brought down the gap to less than two minutes. Matti knew that Magnus had a very good shot of winning if they made it to the line. He also knew what the win would mean to Magnus.
“It’s a bit of Danish history,” Matti said afterwards. “Jesper Skibby was there alone, solo, on the throne for I don’t know how many years. Mads Pedersen joined him this Giro, and now it’s Magnus. It’s something he’s been aiming for for the last few years. We knew that if Magnus just got in that breakaway—obviously it was a huge effort for him—but with his sprinter capacity, he’s fast on the line. We were crossing our fingers.”
Magnus wasn’t going to leave it to luck. He raced the final kilometers perfectly, first closing down his opponents’ attacks and then letting them lead out the sprint, before blasting past them on the seaside promenade in Viareggio.
There was one heck of a smile under his mustache when he crossed the finish line.
Tillykke, Magnus Cort!