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Costa to debut with Lampre-Merida at the Dubai Tour

By:
Stephen Farrand
Published:
December 9, 2013, 17:02,
Updated:
December 9, 2013, 21:54
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 9, 2013
Race:
Dubai Tour
The national anthem is played for newly crowned road race world champion Rui Costa (Portugal)

The national anthem is played for newly crowned road race world champion Rui Costa (Portugal)

  • The national anthem is played for newly crowned road race world champion Rui Costa (Portugal)
  • Rui Costa in his rainbow jersey
  • World champion Rui Costa (Movistar) signs on ahead of stage one of the Tour of Beijing.
  • Joaquim Rodriguez and Rui Costa fight it out for the Worlds

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World champion talks about learning how to suffer

World champion Rui Costa has revealed that he will begin his 2014 season at the new Dubai Tour (February 5-8) before riding the Challenge Majorca series and Paris-Nice.

The Portuguese rider won the rainbow jersey with a powerful late attack in Florence that allowed him to catch Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez and then beat him in a sprint. He competed in the rainbow jersey at Il Lombardia in October but the Dubai Tour will mark his debut in Lampre-Merida colours.

However Costa insisted he is not worried about any possible curse of the rainbow jersey as he prepared for the 2014 season and got to know his new teammates at Lampre-Merida’s winter get together in Darfo Boario Terme, in the hills behind Bergamo.

"The rainbow jersey's an honour for me, it's not going to be a weight on my shoulders. I'm 27 and think my best years are still to come," Costa told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"So far the things have been great at Lampre. Everyone knows what they’re doing and are passionate about it. I think it’s the ideal team to help me."

"I don’t think I became world champion by chance"

Costa took advantage of the rivalry and lack of team work between Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde to win the world title. However he is convinced he fully deserved to take the world title and so wear the rainbow jersey for a year.

"I only thought about being world champion when I crossed the line. There's been a lot of polemics about the race but it seems pointless to me. Nibali was unlucky to crash, Uran too. Regarding the tactics of Rodriguez and Valverde, I think that the fatigue after a long, hard race was decisive. I don't think I became world champion by chance," he explained.

Costa will target the Ardennes Classics and also the Tour de France. He won two stages last year from breakaways but is hoping to be an overall contender in 2014. He has already identified the opening stages in Britain and then on the cobbles as a key part of the race, where he could take the yellow jersey or gain time on some of his rivals.

"The Tour is important but there's more to my season than the Tour," he pointed out. "Even if the first week with the stages in England and the pave will be tough… I want to do well in the first part of the season too. That's why I'm going to start in Dubai, then ride the Challenge Majorca and Paris-Nice."

Humble beginnings

Costa grew up in Povoa de Varzim on the Portuguese coast north of Porto. He now spends much of his time in Northern Switzerland but has not forgotten his roots.

"My family still have a farm. We grow a lot of things and I've helped my parents with the work. In lots of ways cycling is similar and hard work. That taught me the values of life and I remember them when I've got to suffer on the bike," he said.

"When I think I'm going to crack, I think of all the suffering my parents went through to buy me my first bike. My dad was an amateur; he loved cycling, but didn't have a chance to become a professional rider. He's happy that I made it."

sam171 11 months ago
costa's been a favorite of mine for a few years. the guy rides his guts out and is a thrill to watch. on top of that, he seems like such a sweet guy. huge respect.
TANK91 11 months ago
Ah its Levi Leipheimer's relative? What do they have in common? drum roll please duh duh duh They Wheelsuck!!!!
Sidorio 11 months ago
Wheelsuck? There were only 4 in world championships, if he was able to wheelsuck it was because he was there and hang up with the very best... He totally deserved the world title!
bikejourno 11 months ago
One Portuguese versus two Spaniards and an Italian in the finale of such a tough race: Go check the size of each national team in Florence, and the think again about that "wheelsucking" remark of yours. Rui Costa was very clever, he had the strength to implement his tactics, and he kept his cool when the Spaniards played their cards. Besides, Costa has a very different way of racing compared to Levi Leipheimer. You sound like a frustrated fan boy to me, I'm afraid.
TheStaz 11 months ago
I think you wheelsuck.
João Sá 11 months ago
TANK91 got a point right. but Levi wasn't only a wheelsucker, if you know what I mean. But in this Worlds Championship, Costa couldn't count on a teammate to help him like Valverde or Rodriguez soooo he made one ahah. Rui is a fantastic rider and seems to be a very humble and nice person as well