Volta ao Algarve (st. 3)
Costa claims 2nd place atop Alto do Malhao, reinforces GC podium chances in Volta ao Algarve before Sunday’s decisive, 35km ITT
Fourth-placed after big teamwork in favour of Alejandro Valverde during the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana in Majorca and really attentive since day one (8th) on Portuguese soil, Rui Costa did not disappoint at the Queen stage of the 2013 Volta ao Algarve. The Portuguese rider took 2nd behind Sergio Henao (SKY) in the infamous slopes of the Alto do Malhao, the 2.5k, Cat. 2 climb acting as double-breaker into the bunch on stage three in the Southern race, a 193km trek starting at Portimao.
Costa responded to good vigilance from Movistar Team, with José Herrada making a dangerous, mid-race break with some of the strongest men on course. The move by the Spaniard, reeled back in with just 5k from the finish, left room to the attack by the telephone squad’s leader with Henao, which the Colombian countered to leave Costa behind prior to the flamme rouge to take the stage while the Iberian squeezed the final meters to shorten his loss to just 3 seconds.
Jesús Herrada (9th, 12 seconds back) and Jonathan Castroviejo (15th, 33 seconds behind) completed a strong team effort in search for a GC podium Rui will try to stay in during the ITT showdown: 35km between Castro Marim and Tavira, with the Blue leader in 2nd, just seven seconds off Henao and with several time trial specialists on top places.