Impressive performance by Rui Costa (photo Bettini) in the final stage of the Tour de Suisse, which gave to the Portuguese champion the 6th place in the stage standing and the 7th position in the final general classification.
The short stages are often insdious and this was true for the 9th and final stage of the Tour de Suisse, whose start and finish were initially in Davos and which was characterized by the climbs of the Albulapass and of the Fluelapass enclosed in only 117,7 km. However, the bad weather conditions imposed to the organizers to shorten the course to 57,7 km with the only climb of the Fluelapass.
This demanding ascent was enough for selecting the peloton: once that the breakaway of the three cyclists Richeze, Cort Nielsen and Stuyvens was neutralized, Lopez attacked at 27 km to the arrival and only Van Garderen and Pantano succeeded in following him; Rui Costa was close to bridge the gap, but he could not complete the chase, so he reach the summit of the climb in the first chasers group.
Rui Costa, at his last race wearing the jersey as Portuguese champion, had still enough energies for covering the downhill to the arrival at full speed, chasing together with Barguil the five leaders of the stage (Lopez, Van Garderen, Pantano, Ion Izagirre and Chernitckii).
LAMPRE-MERIDA rider reached the front of the race at 100 meters to go, too late for taking part in the sprint for the stage victory, which was obtained by Pantano.
Rui Costa achieved the result of climbing the general classification: he finished the Tour de Suisse in 7th place, at 2’09” to Lopez.
Once again Jan Polanc realized a very good performance, which gave him the 13th place in the stage at 1’17” to the winner and the 15th place in the final general classification.
“The original course of the stage was demanding and it became even more intense when it was shortened – Rui Costa commented – It was important to be immediately ready to act and my legs supported me in doing so.
I attacked, I push hard and I fought, my legs used all the energies and they brought me to the fron group at 100 meters to the arrival.
I could not sprint for the stage victory, however I’m satisfied for the 7th position in the final general classification: I’m on the right track, I can work with morale for the next appointment“.
1- Pantano 1h23’55”
2- Chernetckii s.t.
3- Izagirre I. s.t.
4- Lopez s.t.
5- Van Garderen s.t.
6- Rui Costa s.t.
13- Polanc 1’17”, 34- Niemiec 5’06”, 35- Durasek s.t., 53- Mario Costa 6’56”, 54- Arashiro s.t., 88- Bono 11’01”, 102- Cimolai 11’10”
FINAL GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1- Lopez 30h55’58”
2- Izagirre I. 12″
3- Barguil 18″
4- Pantano 42″
5- Talansky 1’04”
7- Rui Costa 2’09”
15- Polanc 10’21”, 42- Niemiec 44’58”, 58- Durasek 57’10”, 83- Arashiro 1h08’50”, 103- Mario Costa 1h20’46”, 123- Bono 1h40’03”, 125- Cimolai 1h43’19”