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Fri Apr 18 22:45:32 SAST 2014

Portugal's Costa wins Tour of Switzerland

Sapa-AFP | 18 June, 2012 09:210 Comments
Movistar rider Rui Costa of Portugal (L) celebrates winning next to second-placed Radioshack rider Franck Schleck of Luxembourg (C) and Rabobank rider Robert Gesink of the Netherlands (R) at the finish of the ninth and final stage of the Tour of Switzerland in Soerenberg June 17, 2012
Image by: Denis Balibouse / REUTERS

Portugal’s Movistar rider Rui Costa won the Tour of Switzerland after Sunday’s ninth and final stage won by Estonian Tanel Kangert of the Astana team.

Costa finished 14 seconds ahead of Luxembourg’s Frank Schleck in the final overall standings, with American Levi Leipheimer at 21sec.

It was the 25-year-old Costa’s biggest victory of his career, with one Tour de France stage win in 2011 previously to his credit.

And it was not plain sailing for Costa on the final 215km stage here that took in two big mountain climbs.

Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk, eighth in the overall standings 1min off the leader, broke away and built up more than 30sec on the Costa’s group with 10km to go to the finish line.

Costa’s teammate Alejandro Valverde took up the job of leading the Portuguese in the chase and slowly reeled in Kruijswijk.

Schleck also chanced his arm 5km from the summit of the Glaubenberg, 40km from the finish, building up 52sec on Costa but quickly ceding that in the descent and following plateau.

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Portugal's Costa wins Tour of Switzerland

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