Team Lampre-Merida

Rui Costa gets his first win - and doubles up


Rui Costa gets his first win - and doubles up

After a whole series of 2nd-place finishes at the Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice, Rui Costa finally got to celebrate his first win in the world champion's jersey and for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA. The Portuguese managed to win the final stage of the Tour de Suisse, By doing so, Rui Costa also won the overall of this stage race for the third consecutive time.

Throughout the nine days of racing in Switzerland, Rui Costa had been constantly getting stronger. Since he chose not to risk too much, he lost quite some time in the prologue. But one day after the stage win of his team mate Sacha Modolo in Büren, Costa gave a first demonstration of his class: In the finale of the stage he single-handedly closed a gap to allow Modolo to contest the sprint and finish in 6th. The next day saw an individual time trial over 24.7 kilometres on a hilly course, and here Rui Costa showed his full class: Aboard his WARP TT he blitzed to a 3rd place and more importantly he managed to limit his time loss to overall leader Tony Martin to 28 seconds.

Thus Rui Costa was still in the mix to win his third consecutive Tour de Suisse: Before the conclusive two mountain top finishes his deficit to the leader was only 1.05 minutes. Despite the help of his team mate Rafa Valls Ferri, he found no chance to attack Tony Martin on the final climb to Verbier. The two riders crossed the finish line wheel to wheel, and his deficit in the overall standings remained unchanged. The only thing that had changed was the deficit to 2nd place. Just like at the Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice, another thankless 2nd-place finish was looming at the horizon.

But Rui Costa still had another 156.5 kilometres and the final climb to Saas Fee to put enough time between him and Tony Martin and celebrate his third consecutive win at the Tour de Suisse. But different than the day before Costa did not wait for the final ascent to place his attack. With about 40 kilometres to go he attacked on the climb to Eischoll, and TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA's world champion was accompanied by two strong companions with Mathias Frank and Bauke Mollema. Tony Martin was isolated and had no chance to reel in the trio. With about 3 kilometres to go Rui Costa accelerated again aboard his featherweight REACTO KOM, and this was enough for the win.

Thus Rui Costa did not only win the final stage to Saas Fee but also the Tour de Suisse's overall - for the third consecutive time. After a series of 2nd-place finishes Rui Costa managed to break the spell of the rainbow jersey and celebrate what was the first win of his season - and the first win riding for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA. But it was not only Rui Costa who showed brilliant performances in Switzerland, as Sacha Modolo won the fifth stage and the team finished in 2nd in the team standings. All these result are a valid reason for optimism regarding the Tour de France due to start in two weeks' time.

Another race that had been held throughout the last four days was de Tour de Slovénie. The best result for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA came at the very beginning as Diego Ulissi finished in 3rd at a short time trial. Manuele Mori sprinted to a 5th place at the end of the tricky second stage, and Niccolo Bonifazio sprinted to a 7th place on the final day.

78th Tour de Suisse


Stage 7, ITT Worb (24.7km)

1. Tony Martin, GER, in 31.37 minutes

2. Tom Dumoulin, NED, + 0.22

3. Rui Costa, POR/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, + 0.28


Stage 8, Delémont - Verbier (219.1km)

1. Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio, COL, in 5:11.16 hours

2. Roman Kreuziger, CZE, + 0.03

3. Bauke Mollema, NED, st

9. Rui Costa, POR/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, + 0.17


Stage 9, Martigny - Saas Fee (156.5km)

1. Rui Costa, POR/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, in 4:13.14 hours

2. Bauke Mollema, NED, + 0.14

3. Mathias Frank, SUI, + 0.24


Final overall standings:

1. Rui Costa, POR/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, in 33:08.35 hours

2. Mathias Frank, SUI, + 0.33

3. Bauke Mollema, NED, + 0.50