Cort continues run of first-time Grand Tour stage winners at Vuelta a Espana

Orica-BikeExchange rider the eighth first-time stage winner

The 2016 edition of the Vuelta a España has produced a plethora of new faces atop the stage podium, and Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-BikeExchange) is just the latest in a long list of first-time Grand Tour stage winners to find success here.

Cort claimed a hard-fought sprint victory at the end of 200km on stage 18 to Gandía on Thursday, out-pacing Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) and another first-time stage winner, Jempy Drucker (BMC)

"It's really fantastic, a big dream come true," Cort said. "Our main goal at the moment is the general classification and protecting Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates, but every now and again we get the opportunity to give it a try."

The Australian team had another first-time Grand Tour stage winner last week, with Belgian Jens Keukeleire taking out a reduced bunch sprint in Bilbao on stage 12. It was the team's third stage win after Yates claimed his first Vuelta victory on stage 6. He is currently fifth overall, while Chaves is in third.

"We saw the same with Jens Keukeleire on stage 12, and today it was my turn to give it a go and it was really amazing. This is fantastic for me to win a stage in my first GrandTour ever," Cort said. "This is a great team to be part of at the moment, three stage wins and two guys in the top five overall, it's pretty special."

Out of 18 stages so far this year, 11 have been a first Grand Tour stage win for a rider.

Three Grand Tour debutants have taken their first major wins at this year's race: Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) on stage 4, Jonas van Genechten (IAM Cycling) on stage 7 and now Cort.

Eight other Grand Tour veterans managed to finally take a stage victory - Robert Gesink (LottoNl-Jumbo), Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quickstep), Drucker, Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida), Keukeleire, Sergey Lagutin (Katusha), David de la Cruz (Etixx-Quickstep) and Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling).

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