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"My feelings were not bad, but I would have liked have felt better. Although I am getting better, I still have some pain and discomfort when I pedal. Hence, I am pleased with today's result."

Photo: A.S.O.








14.07.2014 @ 22:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Rui Costa faced his first big test as a grand tour contender in today's big mountain stage of the Tour de France but the world champion was unable to keep up with the best. Nonetheless, he was satisfied with his performance and sensations.


Rui Costa has never done a grand tour as a team leader and so he found himself in unfamiliar territory as he headed into the 10th straight day of racing at the front in today's big mountain stage of the Tour de France. The world champion finished 13th and moved back into the top 10 overall, now sitting in 9th.


However, Costa was unable to make it into the chase group that formed behind eventual winner and new leader Vincenzo Nibali and he lost ground to several podium rivals. Nonetheless, he was not too dissatisfied with the outcome as he is still suffering the effects of a small leg injury.


"My feelings were not bad, but I would have liked have felt better," he wrote on his website. "Although I am getting better, I still have some pain and discomfort when I pedal. Hence, I am pleased with today's result. 


"I crossed the line in 13th, 1:06 behind Nibali, and am now 9th in the overall standings, 3:58 behind. The Italian showed that he is in his best shape and it will be difficult to take the yellow jersey off his shoulders.


"I want thank the whole team who was with me, especially Horner who helped me a lot on the last climb."


"The result of the stage is not bad for Rui and the team," sports director Joxean Fernandez Matxin said. "It's necessary to consider that the gap to riders such as Valverde, Van Garderen and Porte that are now on the same level of condition as Rui, is only a few seconds. If we analyze the overall classification, the gaps are very small, so it is good that Rui is back in the top ten and that he could still aim to improve his position in the second week.


"Today all riders managed to do their job. First Valls, Serpa and Oliveira, then Durasek in run-in to the final climb and finally Horner."



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