Cort Nielsen takes 3rd win at Vuelta, Roglic keeps lead
MONFORTE DE LEMOS, Spain (AP) — Magnus Cort Nielsen secured his third stage victory at the Spanish Vuelta on Friday, while Primoz Roglic’s comfortable race lead remained intact with two days remaining.
Cort Nielsen, a Danish rider for EF Education, won a bunch sprint to claim the 19th stage in 4 hours, 24 minutes, 54 seconds. He also won the sixth and 12th stages.
“It’s amazing,” said Cort Nielsen. “It is a dream and I really hope that I don’t wake up.”
Eighteen riders broke away early on the 191-kilometer (118-mile) route that started in the coastal town of Tapia on the Atlantic and finished after three climbs in Monforte de Lemos.
The peloton appeared to have the attackers in striking distance thanks to the work by Bike Exchange, which had the gap down to under 30 seconds.
But a group of seven riders including Cort Nielsen collaborated to perfection over the last kilometers to keep their chasers at bay.
Lawson Craddock set up Cort Nielsen over the final run-in. Quinn Simmons was the first to give it a go, only for Cort Nielsen to swing past him. Rui Oliveira finished second, followed by Simmons in third.
“It wasn’t until the last five, six kilometers that I started believing,” Cort Nielsen said. “It was a really hard day and we didn’t always really work together well in the group. It was really hard to work well together on a hilly terrain. Somehow, we managed to hang on. I must thank Craddock, he did an amazing job. I couldn’t have done it without him in the group.”
Roglic is on course to win his third consecutive Vuelta. He kept his commanding advantage of 2:30 over Enric Mas, whose Movistar teammate Miguel Ángel López remained third, 2:53 behind.
On Saturday riders face a hilly, 202-kilometer (125-mile) ride from Sanxenxo to Mos in northwest Spain. That will be followed by an individual time trial in Santiago on the race’s final day.
Roglic won the gold medal in the time trial at the Tokyo Olympics and the Vuelta’s first time trial on its opening stage.
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