UAE Team Emirates’ Portuguese talent, Rui Costa, became the third of the team’s riders to cross the line in a top 10 position at this year’s Tour de France, after a fast paced 209.5km mountain stage from Toulouse to Bagneres de Bigorre in which he finished 8th. The race was eventually won by Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) in a three up sprint with Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Grego Muhlberger (BORA-hansgrohe).
It was another day for the breakaway in stage 12, which saw a group of 40 riders attack off the front after 45km of frenetic racing. In the mix was UAE Team Emirates’ Alexander Kristoff and Rui Costa. The peloton sat back and allowed the front group to stretch its lead out to over 8-minutes during the stage, which last nearly five hours. Whilst the GC contenders may have taken it easy, the same couldn’t be said for the break – which continually attacked itself over 165km of lumpy terrain. On the final climb the breakaway group began to fracture even further. Costa was unable to stay with Yates and his companions when they attacked with 37kms to go, creating a gap that they maintained until the finish line.
Costa said: “The first part of the stage was very hard because everybody wanted to be in the breakaway. After almost an hour of flat out racing myself and Alexander managed to get into the main break of the day. I didn’t feel as good as I expected but I did my best and came away with 8th – the best I could have hoped for.”
“For sure I’ll try again on a few more stages,” he added.
After an impressive start to his first ever Tour de France, the young Belgian rider Jasper Philipsen did not start Stage 12.
Inigo San Millan, Head of Performance at UAE Team Emirates explained: “It’s better for him to stop now and recover and let his body adapt to be able to come back at an even higher level in the future.”
In the General Classification, Dan Martin remains in 9th position, where there has been no change in the overall standings.
Stage 12 results
1. Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton Scott 4:57:53”
2. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Team Astana st
3. Grego Muhlberger (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe st
8. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates + 1:28
General classification standings
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 52:26:09”
2. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) 1:12”
3. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 1:16”
9. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) 2:09”
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