Volta ao Algarve: Magnus Cort wins stage two and is new overall leader

The Portuguese Rui Costa (Intermaché-Circus-Wanty) was third

Photo © João Fonseca Photographer

The Danish cyclist Magnus Cort (EF Education-Easy Post) won today the second stage of the Volta ao Algarve, taking the overall lead, after winning a restricted 'sprint' at the top of Fóia, where Rui Costa (Intermaché-Circus-Wanty) was third.

The 30-year-old Dane completed the 186,3 kilometers between Sagres and the top of Foia, in the Monchique mountains, in 5:07.05 hours, beating the Belgian Ilan Van Wilder (Soudal-QuickStep), second, and Rui Costa, both at the same time.

Overall, Cort now has a four second lead over Van Wilder and six over the Portuguese cyclist.

“I felt good during the ascent. I won't say I was comfortable, but the kilometers passed and I felt I had strength for the sprint. There were five kilometers, four kilometers to go, the pace of the climb was hard but constant, which made me believe that I would have a chance. In the last 500 meters everyone wanted to be close to the front, but the wind was head-on and I was afraid of starting too early. I struggled to find a good position, found an open one in the last few meters and managed to win”, described Magnus Cort.

“The team had confidence in me. I didn't know if I would be in condition at the end of a seven or eight kilometer climb, but both myself and the sporting director thought we should try. For me to win, in these conditions, is phenomenal. I have one or two wins on the way up, but usually on escapes and small groups. I had never beaten the favorites to the general classification before. I'm super happy”, confessed the Danish cyclist

Before the fight for the overall, there was the battle for the Cyclin'Portugal Blue Jersey. Around kilometer ten, Matthew Gibson (Human Powered Health), Rafael Lourenço (AP Hotels & Resorts-Tavira-SC Farense), Tomás Contte (Aviludo-Louletano-Loulé Concelho), Gaspar Gonçalves (Efapel Cycling), António Ferreira ( Kelly-Simoldes-UDO) and João Matias (Tavfer-Ovos Matinados-Mortágua).

The maximum difference was around three minutes, realizing that the winner of the stage would not be in the group. However, Rafael Lourenço and António Ferreira undertook an exciting duel for the classification of the mountain. Lourenço approached, but Ferreira held the Blue Jersey. The Algarve, however, did not remain empty-handed. He was voted the most combative of the day.

Alexander Kristoff lost the Algarve Tourism Yellow Jersey, but retained the Credit Agrícola Green Jersey, from the points. The best youngster, owner of the IPDJ White Jersey, is now Frederik Wandahl (BORA-hansgrohe). By teams, he runs EF Education-EasyPost.

On Friday, the third of five stages of the 49th edition of the Volta ao Algarve connects Faro to Tavira, over a distance of 203,1 kilometres, with two third-category scores in the first half of the run and a sprint finish in perspective.


Updated at 18h42


Photos: © João Fonseca Photographer