SAAS-FEE, Switzerland, June 22, 2014 (AFP) – Portugal’s Rui Costa won the
Tour of Switzerland title for an unprecedented third time in a row on Sunday
after riding to victory in the ninth and final stage.
Costa, 27, crossed 14sec ahead of Dutch rider Bauke Mollema with Swiss
Mathias Frank 24sec off the pace in third following the 156.5km run from
Martigny to Saas-Fee.
Germany’s Tony Martin, who had been wearing the leader’s yellow jersey
since stage one, finished off the podium in overall fourth behind Costa, Frank
World road race champion Costa, who finished third in the Tour of Romandie
last month, sets himself up as a candidate for the Tour de France which starts
on July 5.
The Portuguese could count on his experience to see him through to a third
title after 2012 and 2013, as the Lampre rider, leading a nine-man breakaway
group, took Martin by surprise.
Costa stage managed the race over the final two days in the mountains
sticking close to Martin on the penultimate stage at the summit of Verbier to
claim victory on the final beyond category climb at Saas-Fee.
The Portuguese rider went off with a breakaway group under cloudy skies at
the 46km mark with his advantage on the peloton, in which Martin found
himself, more than two minutes 20km from the line.
Attacking on the final two kilometre climb Costa left no chance to his
fellow breakaway riders including home hope Frank, who had the consolation of
second in the overall standings.
Tony Martin Quote Line: CLICK HERE
Results after the ninth and
final stage of the Tour of Switzerland, a 156.7km ride from Martigny-Ville to
Saas-Fee on Sunday:
1. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) 4hr 13min 14sec (average: 37.1 km/h), 2. Bauke
Mollema (NED/BKN) at 0:14sec, 3. Mathias Frank (SWI/IAM) 0:24, 4. Steve
Morabito (SUI/BMC) 0:47, 5. Oliver Zaugg (SWI/TIN) 0:47, 6. André Cardoso
(POR/GRM) 1:28, 7. Jeremy Roy (FRA/FDJ) 1:41, 8. Marcel Wyss (SWI/IAM) 1:48,
9. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) 2:18, 10. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TIN) 2:18.
1. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) 33h 08min 35sec, 2. Mathias Frank (SUI/IAM) at 0:33,
3. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) 0:50, 4. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 1:13, 5. Tom
Dumoulin (NED/GIA) 2:04, 6. Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 2:47, 7. Davide Formolo
(ITA/CAN) 3:00, 8. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TIN) 3:03, 9. Janier Acavedo (COL/GRM)
3:20, 10. Eros Capecchi (ITA/MOV) 3:46.