Magnus Cort finishing Orica-Scott career strongly

Dane closing in on farewell victory before move to Astana

On Tuesday, Magnus Cort will cross the finish in Guilin to end the Tour of Guangxi, bringing the curtain down on 2017 and his career with Orica-Scott. The Dane may be moving to Astana from 2018 but that hadn't stopped him from chasing a farewell victory and final act of gratitude to the team.

With Caleb Ewan feeling the fatigue of a long season, Cort has taken over sprint duties for Orica at the Tour of Guangxi. Third on stage 3 to Nanning, Cort repeated the result on stage 5 into Guilin with only Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) getting the better of hm.

"With three kilometres to go I was sitting on the left hand side and was blocked and couldn't get back to [my teammates]," Cort explained to Cyclingnews after crossing the line. "I surfed a bit myself and I had Gaviria, who was following as well, to go for. I followed them and I got a good wheel but unfortunately I didn't have the speed to go for the win.

"I think there are some good guys that I am up against. I am still top three and I am happy for that."

On paper a straight forward finish, the flat and straight finale in the open roads of Guilin was complicated by a swirling wind after the riders endured a headwind for the majority of the 212-kilometre day.

"We had headwind all day and some wind in the finish as well," Cort explained.

The three categorised climbs in the tail end of the stage also ensured a tough day in muggy and hazy conditions. It was made harder still when Movistar executed a team attack on the final climb and forced a selection that briefly saw a battle between the GC riders. Caught up in the move, Cort explained that he had the work of LottoNL-Jumbo to thank for pulling him back into contention and being able to contest the win.

"I was just off the back and I was coming back on the descent but there was a crash. That caught me out from the front group but I moved to the second group and Lotto Jumbo was riding hard to get Groenewegen back," he explained.

A stage winner in February at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Cort has carried his form into October, and will now have one final shot at victory in Orica-Scott colours Tuesday afternoon again in Guilin, where he is motivated to turn his podium placings into a victory.

"I think I am finishing really well. I have been two times in the top three now and yesterday’s climbing stage was a good stage for me personally," he said of his 15th place finish. "I can be happy, but, of course, you always want to win. We will give it a try again tomorrow as well."

On Tuesday, Jens Keukeleire will also say farewell to Orica-Scott in the final Guangxi stage, added motivation for a result should the team needed any extra incentive to chase the victory.

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