Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert sign Rui Costa for 2023

COGNE ITALY MAY 22 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa of Portugal and UAE Team Emirates competes during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 15 a 177km stage from Rivarolo Canavese to Cogne 1622m Giro WorldTour on May 22 2022 in Cogne Italy Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images
Former World Champion Rui Costa is set to leave UAE Team Emirates for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 2023 (Image credit: Michael SteeleGetty Images)

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux have announced their second major new signing of the August transfer window with Portuguese veteran Rui Costa joining the Belgian squad from UAE Team Emirates.

The 35-year-old will join for the 2023 season after six seasons with UAE. His signing comes a day after the team disclosed that Classics man and former Tour de France stage winner Mike Teunissen will join on a two-year deal from Jumbo-Visma.

Three-time Tour de Suisse winner and 2013 world Champion Costa is something of a surprise signing for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux but will come on board as a road captain. He said that he wants to follow riders like Rein Taaramäe and Alexander Kristoff, who have scored major results since joining the squad.

"I'm very happy to receive the chance to contribute to the success of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux next season," Costa said in a press release issued by the team. "This new environment will offer me fresh opportunities and believes in my value as an athlete.

"Loyalty, trust and respect are values to which both Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and I attach a lot of importance. I want to show fighting spirit to achieve collective goals and I dream about the possibility to conquer new victories.

"Riders like Rein Taaramäe or my former teammates Alexander Kristoff and Louis Meintjes are great examples, riders who converted their rich experience and great potential into fantastic results within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. I really want to thank the team for the belief in me, I'm convinced that we will have a good time together."

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Performance Manager Aike Visbeek said that he and the team have seen during the 2022 season what a difference experienced riders can make to results – as well as their ability to help the next generation of riders.

That's something the team will be looking to Costa to provide with young star Biniam Girmay on the continuing rise and signed up through 2026, and neo-pros Dries De Pooter and Madis Mihkels on board for the coming years.

Costa has largely raced in service of other riders in recent seasons, but has scored some strong results here and there, including a top 10 at the Tour de Suisse last year and podiums at the Saudi Tour and Tour of Oman this spring.

"We learned this season that the presence of experience and great champions in our rosters can be a decisive element in achieving success. So, we are pleased that Rui Costa will play this important role as a captain in the difficult races and Ardennes classics.

"He built a large palmarès by combining talent, hard work and race intelligence. This experience and decision-making skills are very precious to enable guys like Lorenzo Rota and Georg Zimmermann to make the next step in their careers. Rui is motivated to pass on his experience or to play an important role in Grand Tours alongside riders like Louis Meintjes or Biniam Girmay.

"Moreover, he has a clear personal ambition and in our team we want to offer him this balance by giving him a prominent position in stage races or hard one day races which suit him. We're looking forward to see him shine from the start of the season, just like he did this spring with GC podiums in the Saudi Tour and the Tour of Oman. Rui makes a very motivated impression and showed a particular interest in our team, convincing us that he was the rider we were looking for!"

There were several moves elsewhere on the second day of cycling's transfer window, which sprung open on August 1.

Arkéa-Samsic announced the signature of AG2R Citroën climber Clement Champoussin on a one-year deal. The 24-year-old Frenchman had come up through the AG2R youth ranks and spent two-and-a-half seasons at the senior squad. His biggest result to date came at stage 20 of last year's Vuelta a España, where he survived from the break to win at Mos. Castro de Herville.

Elsewhere, former world champion Amalie Dideriksen is set to leave Trek-Segafredo for Uno-X. The 26-year-old's triumph in Doha six years ago stands out on a palmarès that also includes the 2017 Ronde van Drenthe. She'll strengthen the second-year Women's WorldTour team, which also counts Hannah Barnes and Susanne Andersen among the roster.

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