“I don’t know where I could have got to, but I was strong”
05 March 2013

Paris-Nice (st. 2)

Rui Costa now back home after crashing out of Paris-Nice, whose day two saw Kittel (ARG) taking the sprint win; Rojas claimed 9th

Still suffering from the blows and bruises after the crash that forced him out of the 2013 Paris-Nice during the first road stage, but above all, sad about not being able to show his great form in the first European WorldTour event of the season, Rui Costa is already back in Portugal and visited the Hospital de Viana do Castelo on Tuesday to put five more stitches -he received eleven on Monday- on his left hand, the most affected during the crash. “It was a harsh night for me,” explains Rui, “because I could not stand my hand on anywhere, the pain in the elbow and the right side of my hip… it all made hard to rest, even with painkillers. My bandages were hurting a lot this morning and we had to go to hospital, where the doctors saw I had to get more stitches on my hand.”

The Portuguese rider from the Movistar Team reflects on the incident: “It all happened really fast and we couldn’t respond. Imanol [Erviti] had picked up some bottles from the back and, when he was about to give me my second one, he rode over a spotlight on the road, lost contact with his handlebars and slipped off the bike. When you crash, you only think of getting back on, and that’s what I did, but I realized fast [in contrary to reports from the organization, he didn’t even get on his bike] I was too dizzy to carry on, and had to lie myself down because the pain in my hand was so strong.” Costa was lucky as the radio checks at the Hospital de Fointanebleau ruled out any fractures. “Yes,” admits Rui, “to be honest, I thought I had something broken on my hand, because I didn’t feel my fingers, I couldn’t move them. Even though i tried to protect myself from others crashing, some wheel of the riders behind me crashed on my hand and caused me the cuts.”

Resigned after the chances lost, the Iberian already looks forward to the next challenges: “I don’t know where I could have got to, but my performance during the prologue confirmed myself I was strong. Those short TT’s never have done well for me and getting so close to the front [he was 15th] was a sign of strong form. But talking about where I could have got to… it has no use. We’ll check my upcoming schedule with the team, but it’s possible that it doesn’t change because I’ll stay inactive most probably until Sunday, by the time I was supposed to finish Paris-Nice, so País Vasco, the Classics and Romandie should be my next goals.”