Rui fights overall podium until very end
19 February 2012

Algarve (s5) / Haut Var (s2)

The Portuguese rider falls off the Algarve top-3 by fourteen seconds, overtaken by timetriallists Wiggins and Martin. Quintana takes 10th at Haut Var

Despite the enourmous level by their rivals on the time trial, Rui Costa struggled to leave his place into the podium of the 38th Volta ao Algarve, finishing today in Portimao after a 26k individual time trial in which Australian Richie Porte (SKY) packed his overall triumph as his team mate Bradley Wiggins took the day’s honours. Fourteen seconds separated the Portuguese rider of Movistar Team from the third place in the GC, taken by Wiggins behind World ITT champion Tony Martin (OPQ).

Costa could still overcome Tiago Machado (RNT) in their particular local duel to wear the last orange jersey as best Portuguese rider, but was haciéndose con el maillot naranja de primer portugués, pero se vio aventajado en última instancia por el belga Van Garderen (LBL). “I’m satisfied with the result. I didn’t work much on the time trials this winter and leaving Algarve with a fifth place into such a strong field is something to be happy about,” said Rui. Basque Jonathan Castroviejo also came a dozen seconds behind his goal to enter the best ten, finishing in 11th into a race where Movistar Team, leader into the squads’ competition until the final stage, showed a fine level with five other riders between the best fourty, 3rd at the final ranking.

Quintana 12th in France
In his turn, Colombian Nairo Quintana (11th) was the best performer from the telephone squad in the final stage of the Tour du Haut Var, arriving today into the slopes of the Mur de Favence (26%) after a long, 205k stage with five considerable climbs. Movistar Team went again unrewarded for bravery exhibiting throughout the race, with David Lopez long into the break leading the course until the final thirty kilometers, an attempt also made in principle by Andrey Amador, who had a crash with no major consequences -just some bruises and hits in his right hand side- and was brought back into the bunch. In the finale, Pablo Lastras and Nairo Quintana went ahead searching for a win falling at the side of the surprising Jon Tiernan-Locke (EDR), who took the day’s win and the overall victory in the France race, with Quintana in 12th spot.