Road Worlds: Costa times finish to perfection


Portugal’s Rui Costa showed Spain how it’s done by riding the perfect race tactically and finishing it off with the better sprint

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Costa took advantage of the rivalry between Spain and Italy to attack from the chase group and catch the lone leader Joaquin Rodriguez of Spain in the final kilometre and then edge it in the sprint.


Costa outsprints Rodriguez to become the World Champion. Photo:

The race came down to the final climb and from a peloton of 40 riders, the climbers such as Nibali, Valverde, Costa and probably the rider of the final, Rodriguez saw to it that the likes of Sagan, Gilbert etc did not get a look in and after gaining seconds on the climb, held the advantage to the final few kilometres where the fight for the Gold medal was fought out.

Spain, with two riders in the front should have done better. Rodriguez rode well, drawing the sting from Nibali with several attacks and the Italian finally had to give up and it was at this moment that the title was won. With Rodriguez ahead and Valverde marking only Nibali, Costa countered attacked and caught Rodriguez in sight of the line. It was then a two up sprint for the rainbow jersey and the rider from Portugal was too strong for Rodriguez.


Rodriguez during one of his many attacks. Photo:

Valverde beat Nibali for the Bronze but it was the tactical mistake by Valverde that cost Spain the win. On the podium, there were tears from Rodriguez who was hurting after losing the title whilst there were tears of joy from Costa.

The race was held in atrocious conditions with the roads flooding and crashes occurring all over the place. Nibali was one of those who fell but still managed to get up and almost come up with a result.

The first break saw Czech Barta (Netapp-Endura), the Tunisian Chtioui, Austrian Brändle, Polish Huzarski (Netapp-Endura) and the Venezuelan Godoy (the youngest rider in the race) manage to open up a lead of 8.10 on the bunch after 106km. The chase saw Mark Cavendish and Luke Rowe at the front of affairs along with the rest of the GB team showing the team’s colours at the front of the race.


The Italian team on the front in the pouring rain. Photo:

When the race hit the circuit through, GB’s presence in the race diminished rapidly. Cavendish and Rowe had done their job and retired. Wiggins followed and Cummings punctured. The rest followed. Froome told Jill Douglas of the BBC “I looked around and realised I didn’t have any team-mates left and it wasn’t going to happen”. He retired. Afterwards, coach of the team Rod Ellingworth who masterminded Project Rainbow for Mark Cavendish told the Guardian “Having a British jersey on their backs, they should be very disappointed. We should be very disappointed with that as a team and with the approach to the race. I don’t think the lads’ attitude was where it needed to be. Luke Rowe and Cav were OK, average, the other guys were below average.”

With the Italians now on the rampage at the front, the break though was soon down to two riders Jan Barta & Bartosz Huzarski and they held off the favourites for a long time with the Endura brand from Scotland visible on their shorts getting TV time. It wasn’t until the final few laps that Huzarski, who had ridden solo for a few laps, was caught by Visconti after 235km.

It was a dangerous looking move but the gap was wiped out when the pressure at the front of the peloton was applied and soon it was all together. Many great names abandoned the race in the first laps many due to crashes: Cadel Evans, Daniel Martin, Van Garderen, Samuel Sanchez and Nicolas Roche. Once the rain stopped, it was Giovanni Visconti’s (Italy) moment to attack.



A small chasing group of four (Visconti, Kelderman, Preidler and Gautier) chased but it was only Visconti who caught Huzarski just after Via Salviati. It’s on that very same descent that Paolini, Scarponi and Nibali crashed just a few minutes later with the latter two able to get back into the peloton.

The last climb to Fiesole was decisive. Scarponi attacksed followed by Nibali, who took the lead with Rodriguez. Valverde and Rui Costa bridged across on the descent, and these four started the final fight for the title. Rodriguez attacks, Valverde marked Nibali and Rui Costa into a bend to chase across the gap in the final kilometre to catch Rodriguez.

Rui Costa (POR): “Today was a dream come true. I still can’t realise what happened, but I’ll have the time to do so. Honestly, I didn’t think I could win, but when in the end there were only four of us left, I knew I had a chance. I knew Rodriguez was the slowest sprinter and I expected him to attack before the end: I waited for the right moment to make my move, and then I attacked and caught him. When I reached him, he told me to go first, but I was careful not to do so. I wanted to catch my breath before the final sprint. I’m proud of what I did, for myself and for my country”.

Joaquin Rodriguez (SPA): “I can’t be happy for this medal: both Alejandro and I have a great palmarès, but we can’t seem to win the rainbow jersey. Today we were really close, but clearly it had to be Rui Costa’s day. I thought I could make it in the last kilometre, but when I saw him arriving, I understood I couldn’t finish. I tried to challenge him, but it just wasn’t enough”.

Alejandro Valverde (SPA): “After 270km, there’s only so much your legs can do. Wrong strategy? I don’t think so, we did what we had to. I didn’t underrate Rui Costa, we run in the same team and I know what kind of athlete he is. When he jumped, Nibali tried to stay in his wheel, but he couldn’t manage and for me it was impossible to catch up on him”.

1 COSTA Rui Portugal 07:25:44
2 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Spain @ st
3 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Spain 00:15
4 NIBALI Vincenzo Italy @ st
5 GRIVKO Andriy Ukraine 00:31
6 SAGAN Peter Slovakia 00:34
7 CLARKE Simon Australia @ st
8 IGLINSKIY Maxim Kazakhstan @ st
9 GILBERT Philippe Belgium @ st
10 CANCELLARA Fabian Switzerland @ st
11 MOLLEMA Bauke Netherlands @ st
12 NORDHAUG Lars Petter Norway @ st
13 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Spain @ st
14 GESCHKE Simon Germany @ st
15 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Colombia @ st
16 SCARPONI Michele Italy @ st
17 POZZATO Filippo Italy 01:05
18 VICHOT Arthur France @ st
19 PATERSKI Maciej Poland @ st
20 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald Norway @ st
21 FUGLSANG Jakob Denmark @ st
22 KONOVALOVAS Ignatas Lithuania 01:26
23 VAN AVERMAET Greg Belgium @ st
24 TROFIMOV Yuri Russia @ st
25 WEENING Pieter Netherlands 01:44
26 STYBAR Zdenek Czech Republic 01:59
27 SARAMOTINS Aleksejs Latvia 02:01
28 BARDET Romain France @ st
29 PAUWELS Serge Belgium @ st
30 KVASINA Matija Croatia @ st
31 HOWES Alex United States @ st
32 SORENSEN Chris Anker Denmark @ st
33 GOLAS Michal Poland @ st
34 ATAPUMA HURTADO John Darwin Colombia @ st
35 BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos Alberto Colombia @ st
36 MACHADO Tiago Portugal @ st
37 STETINA Peter United States @ st
38 DENIFL Stefan Austria 02:05
39 BURGHARDT Marcus Germany 03:40
40 POLANC Jan Slovenia @ st
41 URAN Rigoberto Colombia 04:27
42 DEGENKOLB John Germany 04:53
43 CHERNETSKIY Sergey Russia 04:55
44 ROUX Anthony France @ st
45 RAST Gregory Switzerland 06:24
46 LöFKVIST Thomas Sweden 07:27
47 NECHITA Andrei Romania 08:06
48 CASTROVIEJO Jonathan Spain @ st
49 MARTENS Paul Germany @ st
50 PINOT Thibaut France 09:09
51 VISCONTI Giovanni Italy 09:15
52 HUZARSKI Bartosz Poland 09:36
53 WYSS Danilo Switzerland 11:20
54 BARTA Jan Czech Republic @ st
55 WEGMANN Fabian Germany @ st
56 MOINARD Amaël France @ st
57 BAKELANTS Jan Belgium @ st
58 MAJKA Rafal Poland 12:55
59 GAUTIER Cyril France 15:11
60 KELDERMAN Wilco Netherlands @ st
61 VOECKLER Thomas France @ st


RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , , ,