Who else could have obtained the victory “number 1″ in Team UAE’s history but the world champion in Florence 2013 Rui Costa?
23 days after the press conference which launched the activity of the team, where the Portuguese rider stated that his goal was to give as many satisfactions as possible to the president of the team Matar and to the United Arab Emirates, Rui Costa won the 4th stage of the Vuelta de San Juan (photo Bettini).
On the summit arrival on the Alto Colorado, at the end of a course of 162,4 km of distance (start from Chimbas) and after the ascents of the Alto de Villicum (3rd category, 56 km in the race, 1070 mt altitude), of the Banos de Talaca (2nd category, 100 km, 1400 mt altitude) and of the Alto de la Crucecita (2nd category, 114,7 km, 1752 mt altitude), Rui Costa preceded Torres (+2″), Escuela (+7″), Sevilla (+10″) and the new leader of the general classification Mollema (+12”).
The Portuguese from Team UAE was brilliant on the final climb and he could be in the selected leading group with Torres, Escuela, Sevilla and Mollema; he preceded Torres in a sprint, obtaining the 23rd victory as pro.
“This victory has a special taste and it makes me doubly happy: I’m very satisfied to have obtain a succees after the 2016 season during which I was several times close to the first place and I’m glad I could give to Team UAE and to the sponsors the first historic victory – Rui Costa explained – This succees in very special also because it was not easy to obtain, considering that the stage was very demanding, we raced at a high altitude and we faced the wind and the heat.
The opponents were very competitive, in the final kilometers the energies were almost over for everybody, however I managed to still have strong legs in the last kilometer and I could reach the final meters with Torres, beating him in the sprint: I was so happy when I realized he could not follow me”.
Team UAE’s cyclists and their Colnago C60 bikes were protagonist also before the final climb, when Niemiec joined the first breakaway of the stage with other 17 riders.
Their action was later neutralized and two other cyclists from the Emirati team (Ganna and Troia) attacked, pedaling in the new leading group of 18 riders.
The peloton bridged the gap before the final climb.
In the general classification, Rui Costa is 5th (he was 22nd before the stage) at 26″ to Mollema. Still two staged suitable for sprinters to the end of the Vuelta de San Juan.
1- Rui Costa 4h15’04”
2- Torres 2″
3- Escuela 7″
4- Sevilla 10″
5- Moellema 12″
27- Niemiec 2’46”, 74- Troia 13’49”, 75- Ganna s.t., 117- Guardini 31″48″
1- Moellema 14h12’30”
2- Sevilla 14″
3- Torres 16″
4- Escuela 20″
5- Rui Costa 26″