Team doubles up on Suisse, Route de Sud victories
Sunday was a good day for Team Movistar, which won both the Tour de Suisse and the Route du Sud overall classifications. The team now boasts 20 total victories for 2012, just one less than in 2011.
Rui Costa earned the Tour de Suisse overall victory. He had taken the yellow jersey last Sunday atop Verbier and then faced the task of defending it all week.
"I'm extremely happy to have been able to crown all the work done during the week," said Costa. "I went through a bad day yesterday due to the efforts from the TT on Friday, and I didn't know how I was going to feel today, but I usually recover well from such bad days. I already saw that I had good legs after the first climb today, and that made me confident."
After yesterday's suffering in the mountains, Costa was facing the biggest test of his career in a marathon last stage, with two HC climbs to be tackled before the final ascent into Sörenberg (Cat. 2 climb).
"I didn't become nervous either when (Frank) Schleck attacked, because I knew he was really strong uphill, and it'd have been crazy to go after him. I knew that the flat between the two climbs was good for us to reel him back, and that's what we did."
The Portuguese rider stayed with the leaders' group throughout and was helped by teammate Alejandro Valverde, who took ninth overall. For the 25-year-old Costa, the Tour de Suisse was his second success of the season and his 12th in six years a a pro racer.
"In the finale, Alejandro gave me some fundamental help because the race was becoming chaos, and he did impressive work. I owe this yellow jersey to him. He's a great champion, a great teammate and friend, and he showed those values today."
The team controlled everything in the final 3km. "Together with my stage win in the Tour, this is my most important triumph, and the one I'm going to enjoy the most for all efforts we had to make. I want to dedicate this to the team, because my teammates worked magnificently all week. I have no words to describe it."
Meanwhile, in France at the Route du Sud, Nairo Quintana had no troubles defending his overall leader at the Route du Sud with its last stage ending in a bunch sprint. Quintana, a neo pro at 22, took his fifth win.
"This victory is for everyone who has always supported me and made reaching this point possible for me," said Quintana. "To be honest, the stage was more calm than what we expected. Without a doubt, the huge toughness of yesterday's stage had a big effect on the bunch today."
"We weren't riding fast at the last climb, but the speed got a bit faster and people were dropping behind. That was the sign that there was very little energy left after the previous day."
"My teammates did great work in the first part of the stage, which was the most complicated thing because attacks were flying at the front, but once we let the break gain space, everything was more calm, plus the teams with sprinters came to help us as we had forecast. I never saw my victory threatened. The work by the guys was genius."
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