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"Since I had to help Alejandro and dropped on stage 13, I forgot my GC chances and focused on winning a stage.”

Photo: Sirotti

MOVISTAR TEAM

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RUI ALBERTO FARIA DA COSTA

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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16.07.2013 @ 20:24 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

After two weeks of relentless fighting for a stage win that kept eluding them, the Movistar Team was finally able to stamp their mark on Tuesday’s stage to take the spoils of the day as Rui Costa soloed across the finish line in Gap for the second Tour stage win of his career.

 

Costa notched up victory on the 16th day of the race, a 168-kilometer trek starting at Vaison-la-Romaine with three rated climbs, including the Col de Manse (Cat. 2) just 11km from the finish. Costa remained poised on the opening slopes of the final climb after the moves from Marino (SOJ), Kadri (ALM) and Coppel (COF), and launched an acceleration with 7km from the summit. The gap between the Portuguese rider and his pursuers increased fast as Costa crested with 45 seconds.

 

Costa covered the dangerous descent of Manse without any complications and raised his arms in exaltation at the finish to claim Movistar Team's 24th success in 2013.

 

"Yesterday, I was already thinking of entering the breaks one of these days,” Costa said when explaining the team strategy for the day’s stage. “I knew today was a good day for me, with those two climbs. My legs felt well all day - I knew it had to be my day. It was hard to get the break going, with lots of riders trying to stay at front... there was a moment when I didn't really know who was in the breakaway, but in the end some of the riders that were going with me, including Alejandro and Rojas, dropped and we were able to stick at last.”

 

"I really knew the place to move was the last climb. Everything went as I planned: jumping into the uphill and reaching the top with a gap. I came to the summit with 40 seconds and even had time to enjoy as I rode through the final kilometre. Things couldn't have been better. After the descent, 3km from the finish, I already knew I was going to win. The final kilometre was really beautiful, with such big crowds in both sides. It's something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

 

Today’s win was Costa’s second stage victory in the Tour de France, a fact that definitely didn’t lessen his joy after he was compelled

to set aside his own personal GC ambitions in order to help team leader Alejandro Valverde as the latter suffered a puncture and was dropped on stage 13.

 

"Winning a stage in the Tour is really difficult, but winning two... I have no words for that. I also fought for this last year, but this race is the hardest [in which] to obtain even a minor success. Being able to snatch a win again is a relief for me. Since I had to help Alejandro and dropped on stage 13, I forgot my GC chances and focused on winning a stage.”

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