Rui Costa says he’s happy to be back in the peloton, not sure yet of racing programme
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Friday, April 08, 2011

Rui Costa says he’s happy to be back in the peloton, not sure yet of racing programme

by Shane Stokes at 5:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Brother Mario also gets a contract; will debut with Loule team this Sunday

Rui CostaFollowing yesterday’s confirmation that he has signed a deal with the Movistar team until the end of 2013, Portuguese rider Rui Costa has said that he is determined to get things back on track.

“It's great coming back to racing at the highest level, especially on my home team which gave me my first shot in the first place,” he told VeloNation. “It's a great feeling and I'm grateful for the opportunity. My goals now are to do a great job for the team and if possible have a better season than last year.”

Costa had a strong first half to 2010, winning the Trofeo Deia, taking stage eight of the Tour de Suisse and placing first in the Portuguese time trial championships. He also made his Tour de France debut.

However he and his brother Mario tested positive for the substance methylhexaneamine at the Portuguese championships, incurring a suspension as a result. That suspension was overturned earlier this year when the chemical was downgraded by WADA to a specified substance, thus attracting a lesser sanction if it is proven that it was ingested accidentally.

The brothers had been using a supplement which lab tests showed contained methylhexaneamine, although this was not listed on the label. The path is now clear for both of them to return to competitive cycling. “Thankfully everything has worked out fine for both of us,” he said. “My brother just signed with the Portuguese team Loule and will start this Sunday in the Classica da Albergaria.”

Rui Costa is himself not sure yet of his schedule. Team Movistar said yesterday that his signing would bring the team up to 25 active riders again after Rubén Plaza fractured his tibia and fibula in the Vuelta a Murcia earlier this year. However they are yet to tell Costa where he will compete first.

“I still don't know my calendar but I imagine that it will probably start with some of the Classics,” he stated.

At this point in time, he said that he wasn’t scheduled to ride a Grand Tour. That could presumably change, depending on how the months ahead go for him.

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