Costa notches up victory for Movistar in Klasika Primavera
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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Costa notches up victory for Movistar in Klasika Primavera

by Shane Stokes at 11:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Contador and Intxausti caught in final kilometre

Rui CostaRui Costa continued a very good weekend for the Movistar team, following up Nairo Quintana’s success in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco yesterday when he won the Klasika Primavera today.

Costa was quickest in a twenty man sprint to the line, playing things calmly and waiting for the right moment to strike. He beat Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), his team-mates Beñat Intxausti and José Herrada plus the rest of that group, notching up his first triumph of the season.

“It was an exciting victory - I'm really happy since it's my first this season. The recovery after my crash in Paris-Nice was fast; I felt already well before País Vasco, where I had a good progression day by day, and today I could make it count with this win,” said Costa.

“The team's strategy was the two of us, Beñat and me, going after the attacks in the final climbs, and it was him who responded when Contador made his move. That's why I waited calmly for the group to bridge the gap in the finale. Euskaltel was pushing behind and I followed Urtasun's wheel to look for my chances into a sprint.

“Once Beñat and Contador were caught, I waited until the final 50 meters to jump and overcome him.”

Costa was thirteenth overall in Pais Vasco, riding well but also not having the same personal pressure as those in contention for the final win. He had the psychological boost of Quintana’s success yesterday, that triumph putting the whole team in a motivated frame of mind.

“After yesterday's victory with Nairo, notching up another success here is something important for the team and also for myself…now I can leave my injury behind,” he said. “I thank all my team-mates for the work they did for me - this victory is dedicated to them.”

The 1.1 ranked, 171.6 kilometre race would see the riders complete three laps of a circuit which included the second category Muniketagane climb and the third category ascent of Autzagane. After a lively start, an early attack by Ruben Fernández (Caja Rural) went clear in the first 40 kilometres. He was then joined by Boris Shpilevski (Lokosphinx) and Mikel Aristi (Euskaltel Euskadi). The trio had a minute by kilometre 57, and this rose to six minutes 20 seconds by kilometre 92.

Fernández was feeling good and dropped the other two riders on the climb of Montecalvo, with Shpilevski and Aristi gradually slipping back to the bunch. The lone leader pushed on and with sixty kilometres remaining, he had a four minute 20 second advantage.

He went on to climb the Autzagane climb for the first time, then completed his second ascent of Montecalvo. His advantage was down to two minutes and six seconds afterwards, 38 kilometres from the line, and continued to fall next time up the Autzagane. Clearly fatigued, he was caught 26 kilometres from the finish by the Movistar-led peloton.

Contador, Intxausti and Delio Fernández (OFM - Quinta da Lixa) got clear on the Montecalvo climb and held a gap of ten seconds into the final eight kilometres. With five kilometres to go Contador surged on the Autzagane and was joined by Intxausti, but despite having eight seconds on the descent with three kilometres remaining, they were caught on the final approach to the line.

There Costa and Urtasun got past the Team Saxo Tinkoff rider for first and second, fighting it out for the win between them.

Klasika Primavera (1.1):

1, Rui Costa (Movistar Team) 171.6 kilometres in 4 hours 7 mins 58 secs
2, Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
3, Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
4, Beñat Intxausti (Movistar Team)
5, José Herrada (Movistar Team)
6, Rory Sutherland (Team Saxo-Tinkoff)
7, Eduard Prades (OFM)
8, Julien El Fares (Sojasun)
9, Edson Calderón (4-72 Colombia)
10, Evgeny Shalunov (Lokosphinx) all same time

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