Tour de Romandie (st. 5)
Rui Costa claims his second consecutive podium in Romandie after a fine TT amongst the top guns; Movistar Team now third in the WorldTour standings before the Giro
He had more than ten riders behind -some of them big TT specialists- that could have well taken him out of the podium, but Rui Costa (Movistar Team) showed again the quality he’s always proven and repeated in the 2013 Tour de Romandie the same third place he achieved twelve months prior. The Portuguese rider claimed 12th in the 18.7-kilometer time trial on the banks of the Lake of Geneva, as World Champion Tony Martin (OPQ) notched up yet another win this season.
Costa almost mirrored the times of his rivals, as well at the intermediate point as through the finish, and secured the third place of the coveted podium -completed by Chris Froome (SKY) and Simon Spilak (KAT)- barely five seconds over Tom Danielson (GRS) and fourteen ahead of Wilco Kelderman (BLA). were first and second respectively. In turn, Alejandro Valverde closed a first part of the season full of great results -four victories, two podiums in the Ardennes classics, only a crash in Catalunya while leading the race- with his 9th place overall, and stays -alongside Nairo Quintana- within the best ten in the individual WorldTour standings. Movistar Team is a magnificent 3rd in the last collective classification before the Giro d’Italia.
REACTION / Rui Costa: “I’m really satisfied with this second consecutive podium. We knew it was certainly hard to be on top of the overall, with Froome the strongest into the mountains and more than a decent timetriallist, but there were two podium places up for grabs. It was sad to lose the chance to be second yesterday with Spilak at the front, but it was a really hard stage and there wasn’t any cooperation at all into the pursuit group. Alejandro and I always spoke a lot within outselves and we were feeling not so well, so we couldn’t really get any further yesterday. I think we achieved a reasonable goal yesterday. This podium was possible thanks to all team members – they committed to us all week and their work was really important. Switzerland keeps bringing me good results. I don’t know if it’s due to the big Portuguese community leaving here and cheering for me on these roads – the really important thing is that I’m achieving good results in many races. I wasn’t really expecting to make it into the best three here, though I gained confidence after doing a good race in Liège. Now I’ll be taking a week’s rest before starting my build-up to the Tour, with my mind on defending the Tour de Suisse title. That will be probably the only race I’ll take part in before the Tour.”