Tour de Suisse (et. 4)
A brave Movistar Team keeps Rui Costa’s leadership after a harder-than-expected race with a complicated finish, where Rojas (2nd) looked after his sprinting chances
For the third day on a row, Rui Costa stepped onto the podium of the 2012 Tour de Suisse to endorse into the leader’s yellow jersey. The Portuguese rider from Movistar Team kept the top of the leaderboard after stage four in the Helvetic stagerace -188 kilometers between Aarberg and Trimbach/Olten-, with his team-mates doing another splendid effort to keep the lead in a soaking wet day for the bunch.
José Joaquín Rojas contributed to protect the squad with an early 10-man breakway that kept the peloton into a pulse for more than 40 kilometers. Later, the Blues went on to chase the day’s most importanty attempt -nine riders staying away from the Cat. 1 Scheltenpass climb, before halfway into the stage-, and finally, responded numerous attacks in the two final climbs that split the peloton into a 40-rider group where Alejandro Valverde was a luxury domestique for Costa, in order to keep the group together as Rojas went for the field sprint.
The Spanish road champion fought his way into the final straight, but had to stick to second place behind a superior Peter Sagan (LIQ). Day five in the Tour de Suisse will be more of the same, with continuous ups and downs in the 193-kilometer route from Olten/Trimbach to Gansingen, including six categorized climbs.