Magnus Cort says he does not want to "wake up from this dream" after he took his third stage win at this year's Vuelta a España on stage 19.
Cort was part of a large break of 18 riders that went up the road including his EF Education-Nippo team-mate, Lawson Craddock. But the peloton was not content to let it go as Team DSM and Team BikeExchange both took turns to try and chase them down.
The break eventually whittled itself down to seven riders including, of course, Cort and Craddock as they started to work cohesively to hold off the pursuing peloton. Craddock led the group for the final 2km setting up the sprint which was won by Cort.
Cort spoke after the stage, saying: "It’s really amazing. It’s a dream and I really hope I don’t wake up. I started believing only with five or six kilometres to go.
"They always kept us close. It was a really hard day. We didn’t always work well together at the front and we had attacks that reduced the size of the group and then, in the end, everyone had tired legs and it was really hard to work well together on a hilly terrain."
Cort was extremely thankful that Craddock made it up into the break with him as he was a marked man after taking two stage wins, one in a reduced bunch sprint on stage 12 and another solo in the break on an uphill finish on stage six.
"Somehow, we managed to hang on to it and I have to thank my team-mate Lawson Craddock," Cort continued.
"He did a very amazing job and I literally couldn’t have done this without having him with me in the breakaway today.
"I think my first stage win [in Cullera on stage six] was the most spectacular. It was amazing to win on top of what I’ll call a mountain, because I’m coming from Denmark! That was a really special victory. But now, having three in the same race, that’s unbelievable."
Cort has now doubled his Vuelta stage win tally after already taking three victories in the past, two in 2016 and one in 2020.
The final two stages do not suit the 28-year-old from Denmark at all with a very hilly stage on small mountains and a summit finish on Saturday, before a 33.8km individual time trial to finish off the final Grand Tour of 2021 on Sunday.
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