Tour de France (st. 9)
The Portuguese rider, 14th today -just two minutes behind GC leader Bradley Wiggins (SKY)-, leads Movistar Team’s notable ITT in Besançon, a good ending point to a sour first part of the Tour de France
After nine days completely marked by discourage due to numerous crashes and incidents that left the squad without three of their riders, Movistar Team started bouncing back today on stage nine in the 2012 Tour de France, a 41-kilometer individual time trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon where Rui Costa completed a fine performance. The Portuguese rider, 12th overall before the start, jumped a position further and sits now 17 seconds behind the top-ten position by Irishman Nicolas Roche (ALM) after shining within the favourites to the overall win. Costa took the 14th place of the day, fifteen seconds behind the best ten and just two minutes slower than race leader Bradley Wiggins (SKY), who increased his advantage in the overall classification after a convincing win in front of team-mate Chris Froome and the Swiss Fabian Cancellara (RNT). Tomorrow, and after another long, 220k transfer to their hotel in Villié-Morgón this evening, the six telephone squad’s survivors will enjoy a well-deserved rest day before the Alpine stages on Wednesday and Thursday.
QUOTES / Rui Costa: “The TT was quite hard because you had to push on the big ring at the flat sections while giving your best in the hard slopes, too. I’m satisfied with my result. Now I have to profit from the rest day and see how we tackle the Alps. I started the Tour a bit off form: the feeling wasn’t quite good, but day by day, my legs are responding well and now I hope that, when the big mountains arrive, I can still feel well. After the Tour de Suisse, I spent four or five days without training due to a flu, and that limited my form a bit. We’ll see what Eusebio says, but surely we will stay focused on the GC, because I’m still there. If I lose too much time, then I’ll try fighting for stages. For me it’s something new to fight for a GC in a grandtour, and it will be a big experience for me to fight and see how far I can get. I improve every single year and the experience is already paying off, but year by year we become less young and we have to profit from the good years. We had really bad luck during the first week of this year’s Tour and I hope things to change in the second part so we can be leading actors.”