The Portuguese rider is now 3rd in the overall rank after the mountain-top finish in Malhao, just eight seconds behind Australian Richie Porte (SKY). Movistar Team leads squads' classification
After his second place in the hardest event of the Challenge de Mallorca and his attack on the opening stage of the Volta ao Algarve, Rui Costa proved again that success for him in the 2012 season is just a matter of time during the Queen stage in the Portuguese race. The Movistar Team was 3rd on day three atop the Alto do Malhao (Cat. 2), with 194 kilometers starting at Castro Marim where the Sky team of race leader Boasson Hagen set an impressive pace before reaching the final two kilometers of uphill (8% average gradient).
The team work by the British squad was crowned by the performance from their main GC rider, Aussie Richie Porte, whose attack just after the start of the climb took him into the yellow leader jersey with an 8-second gap over locals Tiago Machado (RNT) and Costa, the only ones any close to him. After them, the other Movistar Team riders rode fine to get six of Jaimerena’s team -with Jonathan Castroviejo just behind the day’s top-ten- into the best thirty of the day and the overall, the telephone squad now ranking on top of the teams’ competition.
An easy penultimate stage on Saturday -186k from Vilamoura to Tavira will preceed the 26k individual time trial closing the race on Sunday in Portimao.