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Rui Costa praises arrival of Horner at Lampre-Merida

Alasdair Fotheringham
February 6, 09:32,
February 6, 08:41
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 6, 2014
Dubai Tour
Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Lampre - Merida)

Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Lampre - Merida)

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World Champion denies rise of Quintana provoked his exit from Movistar

World Champion Rui Costa has said that he is delighted with the last-minute signing of 2013 Vuelta winner Chris Horner for his Lampre-Merida team, describing the American as a “very important factor” within the squad.

“They were looking for a rider to lead the squad in the Giro and the Vuelta, and I think they’ve got it right [signing Horner] even if I don’t think our race programs will overlap,” Costa, who is focussing on the Tour, told Spanish sports daily MARCA on Thursday.

“We have to applaud him for racing at the level he does at the age he is. I’ve got a long way to go before I get to that age!”

Currently in the Tour of Dubai, Costa also denied to MARCA that he had quit Movistar because of Nairo Quintana’s sudden improvement in the Grand Tours, which could have reduced Costa’s room for manouvre in the team.

“My decision to go was a personal one, and had nothing to do with them, both he and [Movistar co-leader Alejandro] Valverde are good friends and good team-mates,” Costa said. But he admitted that Lampre “had offered me everything I wanted, mainly leading the team in the Tour, which is what I wanted when I left Movistar.”

He added that he has only signed for a year with the Italian team “because it is to see if this is the team I really need, and at the moment I’m very happy with what I’ve found, it’s what I’ve been looking for. The team is well-structured and I’m sure they’ll look after me well in my build-up to the Tour, where I want to do as well as possible overall.”

As for a repeat win in the World Championships, Costa says he has not yet looked at the Ponferrada route in detail, “but they have told me it’s not as hard as other years, like in Italy.”

“I have to say I don’t think I’ll have as good a chance of winning: it’ll be more a race for [Peter] Sagan, [Fabian] Cancellara or [Philippe] Gilbert.”

qwerty 6 months ago
sorry i just have to raise up the world championship issue....he said he was good friends with valverde. i dont know the full story but i think valverde would rather let costa win than rodriguez.
sbroaddus 6 months ago
valverde just didn't have the legs go with costa when costa accelerated to chase down purito. the idea that valverde could've gone with him but chose not to is silly. it makes for great "polemics" as the euros would say, but it's silly nonetheless.
CP2013 6 months ago
In the race I watched, nobody "let Costa win". He earned the rainbow jersey by executing the best strategy (for himself) given the race situation he found himself in.
Cance > TheRest 6 months ago
Because I like Valverde as a rider, I choose to believe that he honestly didn't have the reserves to chase Costa. If he did have, then he would be a moron, tactically, and I really do not think he is. Still JRod deserved that WC win far more than Costa.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Deserving to win is not going to get you on the podium. Getting to the line first will.
marcello 6 months ago
Valverde is the greatest wheel sucker since Levi and Evans. I've never once seen him cooperate in a breakaway. He usually just sits on Nibble's wheel. It's not sporting at all.
TheBean 6 months ago
The guy that gets to the finish line first while riding within the rules is the one who deserves the jersey the most.
Alan D 6 months ago
Bean is obviously also a wheelsucker? ;-)
two20john 6 months ago
7 hours in those conditions, ain't nobody gifting nobody.
Niels Johan Thissen 6 months ago
I believe Valverde was able to chase down Costa, or at least sit in his wheel, if he wasn't able to he should not have been able to sit in Purito's wheel...he just wasn't willing to....there's a bog rivalry going on in Spain bewteen Contador - Valverde - Rodriguez...everbody knows what happened the last seasons between these proud riders...Costa was the strongest that day..but Alejandro didn't really try....not really really ....just MHO
Anonymous 6 months ago
Might be but the timming of the attack was brillhant. So even if he he had strenght it would be very hard to respond because he attacked in a tehnical part
Anonymous 6 months ago
Please if you are going to use my login name get your spelling right.
sbroaddus 6 months ago
in my opinion that's a pretty big stretch. it means that valverde had what it takes to keep himself in the race with a chance at victory, but instead he chose to let costa go because he hoped costa might beat his teammate! if valverde had been able to ride costa's wheel back up to puritio (his teammate) well, then it would be game on and the fastest man - very possibly valverde - would have every right to take home the gold for spain.
TheFred 6 months ago
I suspect you're right. Even when we did the race ourselves, we look back and think, "I coulda/shoulda". But in reality, at the end of a race, particularly that brutal world championship, they are at the end of their rope.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Do you understand bicycle racing at all?
HeadPack 6 months ago
Looks like he is putting all his eggs in one basket. Hope he has some more goals besides the Tour, to honour his jersey.
kimiopn 6 months ago
He does. Paris-Nice and the Ardennes where Lampre should have a good team and Tour de Suisse where he won last two editions
ORRagu 6 months ago
The dynamics between JRod and Valverde is quite interesting... it's hard to say really how Valverde was feeling at the end of Worlds... only he knows. Though, there is certainly much to speculate about. What was real interesting was watching how JRod and Valverde acted while waiting together for the podium at Il Lombardia... Valverde looked stoic, and wasn't giving anything away, while JRod almost looked like he was waiting for Valverde to do or say something. They're definitely not close, and it makes one wonder more about the dynamics of the Spanish team... everyone out for themselves amongst the leaders... not a cohesive team.