With Magnus Cort Nielsen the BinckBank Tour can added another fine name to its list of stage winners, but the Dane never thought winning the fourth stage to Lanaken was actually possible.
Thee 25-year-old Astana rider managed to stay ahead with small breakaway group and took down the stage in the sprint. "It's amazing," he said at the finish. "On paper today was a stage for the sprinters. I really didn't plan to go in the breakaway this morning, but then I was following along in someone's wheel and we were suddenly gone."
"Two days ago the sprinters' teams got caught out in Antwerp and yesterday we didn't get a sprint either, so I didn't give our breakaway a big chance to make it. But when we still had a two-minute lead going onto the local course I started believing in it."
Cort Nielsen was joined up front by Jonas Rickaert, Julius Van den Berg and Alexis Gougeard. They played their cards perfectly to stay ahead. "At the start of the breakaway the four of us were keeping something back, but in the final hour and a half we really went full gas." Cort easily won the sprint from Van den Berg and Gougeard while Rickaert was dropped due to a puncture.
RIDING FOR VALGREN
After a crash Cort lost a lot of time in the first stage of BinckBank Tour. That means he's now working for his compatriot and team-mate Michael Valgren. "I got through relatively unhurt, but a good end result was obviously gone. That's why this stage win feels so good. Tomorrow and Sunday we'll have two nice and hard stages that should suit me. But I think I'll have to recover from today's efforts. I am going to ride for Michael, who is still in a pretty good position. He can go for the overall win."