Rui Costa is in fine form after taking his opening win of the year at Klasika Primavera just over a week ago. After some bad luck, his Movistar team are on the up and they have three options for Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Costa tells Cyclingnews HDabout his ambitions for La Doyenne.
CN HD: Klasika Primavera was your first victory of the season, how do you feel?
Rui Costa: "Very happy. Like you said it was my first victory of the season and there will be many wins to follow it. Also, it was a very emotional win, because until the final metre I wasn't winning."
CN HD: What has this victory done for your confidence?
Costa: "As always it is important to recover the confidence after what happened in Paris-Nice."
CN HD: It was a good weekend for the team, did Nairo Quintana's win give you a boost?
"It was a spectacular week for the team. Nairo's victory on the Arrate stage, the general classification on Saturday and Sunday, with my win. We have been missing some luck in some of the races this year and this time it all went perfectly."
CN HD: Has your crash at Paris-Nice caused you any problems?
Costa: "No it has totally recovered. It is only an inconvenience at times."
CN HD: Did it take long to recover?
Costa: "I spent a week recovering. So I came to País Vasco with a little bit of form, but day by day I was finding it better. I ended the week very well like I demonstrated in Amorebieta."
CN HD: What were you hoping to achieve at Paris-Nice, before the accident?
Costa: "I don't know what I could have gotten, but the truth is that I was feeling very well. In the prologue there wasn't anything that didn't suit my characteristics and I finished high up. I'm certain that the sensations were good."
CN HD: How is your level now?
Costa: "Good. País Vasco, like I said, was a very good point and I hope to high up there in the Classics."
CN HD: You have Liège-Bastogne-Liège very soon. You were in the top 20 last season, can you improve on that?
Costa: "Yes, I believe that I've shown in the last years that I continue to progress and that I can be very high up at the finish."
CN HD: With Alejandro Valverde, Quintana and yourself in the team, who will be the leader?
Costa: "Alejandro will be. He has demonstrated already that he can win these races and so he will have to be the leader. We will all be with him and are prepared for if we have to change the race tactics so that we can utilize another of the team members."
CN HD: Does the team have the ability to win?
Costa: "It is very difficult, because some of the best races and there are many candidates for the win. But we are some of those and we will fight to win it."
CN HD: What is it that makes a race like Liège-Bastogne-Liège so difficult?
Costa: "It is a very long race and when you take the hardest climbs you feel it in the legs. It is one of the best."
CN HD: After the classics, what is your next big objective?
Costa: "I will be racing the Tour de Suisse, where I took the number one last year and after that the big objective is the Tour."
For this interview and more download issue 51 of Cyclingnews HD with in-depth coverage and stunning photos of the week’s action. This week’s issue takes a look back at Roman Kreuziger’s brilliant win at the Amstel Gold race and Peter Sagan’s triumph over World Champion Philippe Gilbert, at De Brabantse Pijl. Plus we take a look forward at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the opening stage of the Tour de Romandie, with full start lists and profiles.
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