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World champion and double Tour de France stage winner beats Cristian Ronaldo in the battle for the prestigious title

Photo: Sirotti






15.11.2013 @ 17:28 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

For the second year in a row, Rui Costa has been voted Best Sportsman of the year in Portugal. The world champion and double Tour de France stage winner beat football player Cristiano Ronaldo in the vote to crown what has been a fabulous final season as a Movistar rider.


With Rui Costa's rise, cycling is gaining popularity in Portugal. For the second year in a row, a cyclist has been voted the Best Sportsman of the Year and as it was the case in 2012, the title has been awarded to Rui Costa.


In the vote, he beat no less of a figure than football star Cristiano Ronaldo whose results were not enough to prevent Costa from repeating last year's win.


The win comes as little surprise as Costa has had his best season ever. Having already finished 4th in the Trofeo Serra  de Tramuntana in Mallorca, he finished 5th in his home race Volta ao Portugal as he prepared for his first big target, the Paris-Nice.


A bad crash forced him to abandon the French race and he was out of competition for several weeks before returning to competition in the GP Miguel Indurain. He rode himself into form in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco where he supported overall winner Nairo Quintana while also finishing 13th overall, and won the Klasika Primavera before travelling to the Ardennes classics. While working for Alejandro Valverde, he still had enough left in the tank to finish 9th in Liege-Bastogne-Liege.


His love affair with Switzerland continued as he copied his 2012 feat of finishing 3rd in the Tour de Romandie and winning the Tour de Suisse overall. Forced to sacrifice his GC ambitions to help Valverde in the windy Tour de France stage, he bounced back to win two stages from breakaways.


He used several one-day races to ride himself into form for the world championships - and finished 5th and 6th in the Canadian WorldTour races - and he did his work well. By now, everyone knows what happened in Florence where he outsprinted Joaquim Rodriguez to take the rainbow jersey at the end of an epic race in torrential rain. He ended his season on a high in the Tour of Beijing where he finished 4th overall.


Costa has now started to prepare for his 2014 season where he will be riding in Lampre-Merida colours. He has redcircled Paris-Nice, the Ardennes classics, the Tour de France and the world championships as his main targets.



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