Cortina 4th in the toughest stage of the Binck Bank Tour
Houffalize, August 15th 2019 – After 3 days of sprints, organizers prepared a short and punchy stage. 3 laps of 33km have barely any flat parts. From the start riders went full gas. The biggest obstacle is the Mur de Saint Roch which is only 1km long but with parts of 17,5% ascent. After that climb roads are windy and narrow before reaching another 1km long climb with average of 7.1%. Already in first laps peloton split and by the mid of second lap there are many groups on the road. Our leader Cortina was in 2nd group, but he managed to jump alone to the first group. Unfortunately, Cortina dropped 14km to go, only to be joined by Valgren (Dimention Data) and Naesen (AG2R). They were not able to catch the first group, but worked hard to stay away from the big group behind them. At the end, Cortina won the sprint to finish line in his group, getting 4th place.
Tristan Hoffman was happy with the result: “To be forth in this stage you need to have good legs, good shape and the right spirit, because it was all day left and right, many climbs and small roads, so he did fantastic. 3 guys in front, Ivan jumped to them, perfect, but then at the big climb they attacked again and Ivan dropped, 2 riders came from behind, he managed to stay with them and finished 4th in the really difficult stage.”
Ivan had some energy left to tell us: “It was really hard race. I was in the second group and I decided to attack them on the downhill, and I did catch the first group but on the bottom of the big climb. It was hard to keep with them, but I made it. In the golden sprint I got dropped twice but the third one I won, and at that point I was out of energy, so in next small climb I had no more power and decided to keep my tempo. Finally, Valgren and Neasen caught me, but at the end I won that sprint, so I was 4th.” Asked if he was happy with the 4th place, Cortina said: “I’m happy as it was a really hard parcour and for a rider like me it is a good result.”