Portuguese rider gives Movistar Team back-to-back victories in Amorebieta after Visconti in 2012 – great work from team-mates as Intxausti (4th) duels with Alberto Contador
PHOTO GALLERY | Klasika Primavera
There couldn’t be a better finish to Movistar Team’s splendid performance in the biggest week of Basque cycling. The telephone squad claimed its 8th success of the 2013 season on Sunday into the 59th Klasika Primavera, over 171km in and around Amorebieta. Portuguese rider Rui Costa beat Spanaird Pablo Urtasun (EUS) into a 20-man field sprint after Beñat Intxausti and Alberto Contador (TST), lead protagonists of a strong break through the final circuit, with the climbs of Muniketa and Autzagane being passed three times, caught into the finishing straight. The roster directed by Chente García Acosta held main responsibilities into the race until the final 25k, in pursuit of the day’s lone escapee Rubén Fernández (CJR), and started shaking the peloton into the last Muniketa uphill, with Intxausti and José Herrada into a quintet also featuring Contador, Delio Fernández (OFM) and Mikel Nieve (EUS).
The short time gap by Intxausti and Contador into the final descent, the Basque rider always leading the duo, was reduced to nothing into the finish, where strong work by EUS into the pursuit group left Rui Costa free to sneak out of Urtasun’s wheel in the final meters to claim his 13th pro victory and the third in just four days’ time -after the two claimed by Quintana in the Vuelta al País Vasco- for Movistar Team, which also put Intxausti (4th) and Herrada (5th) within the race’s top five.
REACTION / Rui Costa: “It was an exciting victory – I’m really happy since it’s my first this season. The recovery after my crash in Paris-Nice was fast; I felt already well before País Vasco, where I had a good progression day by day, and today I could make it count with this win. The team’s strategy was the two of us, Beñat and me, going after the attacks in the final climbs, and it was him who responded when Contador made his move. That’s why I waited calmly for the group to bridge the gap in the finale. Euskaltel was pushing behind and I followed Urtasun’s wheel to look for my chances into a sprint. Once Beñat and Contador were caught, I waited until the final 50 meters to jump and overcome him. After yesterday’s victory with Nairo, notching up another success here is something important for the team and also for myself – now I can leave my injury behind. I thank all my team-mates for the work they did for me – this victory is dedicated to them.”