American and Portuguese, winner of Vuelta 2013 and 2013 world champion: the LAMPRE-MERIDA duo Chris Horner-Rui Costa (photo Bettini) showed in the 13th stage of Tour de France (Saint Etienne-Chamrousse, 197,5 km with one Kom of 3rd category, one Kom of 1st category and the hors category summit arrival) their very good harmony and the will to fight for common targets.
On the final climb in the head group the top riders started the fight and Nibali began his action that gave him the stage victory: that’s when Rui Costa find in Horner a very important support to limit the gap to the chasers group.
The world champion crossed the fjnish line in 15th place, at 3’01″ to Nibali: this performance allowed him to be back in the top 10 of the overall classification, in fact he’s 9th at 8’35″ to the yellow jersey.
Horner, after he gave his help to Rui, completed the stage in 17th place (+3’11″) and he’s 15th in the overall ranking.
Blue-fuchsia-green athletes were protagonist also in the early part of the stage, thanks to Serpa, who joined the first breakaway of the stage (the action was later neutralized) and thanks to Durasek, who was one of the 9 members of an important attack that had the premises to reach the arrival but that, on the contrary, had to face the chase by the bunch.
“Comparing to yesterday and to Wednesday, today I was feeling better - Rui Costa said - I’m not still so good to fight in the very first positions, but relying on the grind and on the perfect support by Chris I could limit the gap. I hope I’ll go on improving the condition day by day”.
This is the comment by Hornern: “The final climb, because of the heat and of the pace, was very demanding. I was feeling good, but not so good to be able to battle for a top result, so I preferred to support Rui, setting a rythm that could be good for both. I think we succeeded in reaching the arrival in a short gap”.
1- Nibali 5h12’29″
3- Konig 11″
4- Valverde 50″
15- Rui Costa 3’01″
17- Horner 3’11″
72- Valls 32’22″, 76- Durasek s.t., 82- Serpa s.t., 106- Oliveira 38’38″, 167- Cimolai 40’42″
1- Nibali 56h44’03″
2- Valverde 3’37″
3- Bardet 4’24″
4- Pinot 4’40″
9- Rui Costa 8’35″
15- Horner 10’44″