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Former World Champion Rui Costa joins IWG

Rui Costa will become the first Portuguese rider to defend the colors of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux starting from 2023. The World Champion of Firenze 2013 races on the highest level for thirteen years already and will join a Belgian team for the first time in his career, after concluding six years with UAE Team Emirates.

The world title is one of the 27 professional victories of the 35 year old rider, which he often obtained solo or in a tough duel. It was in this way that he became a Tour de France stage winner in Superbesse at the age of 24, before adding two more wins in the Alps two years later. In addition to ten Tour de France participations, the triple stage winner also finished the Vuelta and the Giro twice, fishing close to more Grand Tour stage wins with multiple second places. 

The palmares of the double Portuguese road race and time trial champion is richly filled with performances in difficult one week stage races. Costa won the Tour de Suisse three times in a row (2012-2014) and almost added a sixth stage win last season. He won the Abu Dhabi Tour (2017), finished on the podium of the Tour de Romandie (2012, 2013, 2014, 2019) and the Criterium du Dauphiné (2015) and finished fourth in Paris-Nice (2015). This spring, he challenged overall winner Jan Hirt in de Tour of Oman (3rd) after finishing third in the Saudi Tour.

Rui Costa, who discovered all Monuments and climbed on the podium of Il Lombardia (3rd in 2014) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (3rd in 2016, 4th in 2015), signed a contract of one season with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. 

« I’m very happy to receive the chance to contribute to the success of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux next season. This new environment will offer me fresh opportunities and believes in my value as an athlete. Loyalty, trust and respect are values to which both Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and I attach a lot of importance. I want to show fighting spirit to achieve collective goals and I dream about the possibility to conquer new victories. Riders like Rein Taaramäe or my former teammates Alexander Kristoff and Louis Meintjes are great examples, riders who converted their rich experience and great potential into fantastic results within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. Riders from the team also told me about their ‘super fast’ Cube Bikes. Material is one of the most important factors to be able to perform and when I think about my future bike, I feel like a kid receiving new toys. I really want to thank the team for the belief in me, I’m convinced that we will have a good time together! »

« We learned this season that the presence of experience and great champions in our rosters can be a decisive element in achieving success. So we are pleased that Rui Costa will play this important role as a captain in the difficult races and Ardennes classics. He built a large palmares by combining talent, hard work and race intelligence. This experience and decision-making skills are very precious to enable guys like Lorenzo Rota and Georg Zimmermann to make the next step in their careers. Rui is motivated to pass on his experience or to play an important role in Grand Tours alongside riders like Louis Meintjes or Biniam Girmay. Moreover, he has a clear personal ambition and in our team we want to offer him this balance by giving him a prominent position in stage races or hard one day races which suit him. We’re looking forward to see him shine from the start of the season, just like he did this spring with GC podiums in the Saudi Tour and the Tour of Oman. Rui makes a very motivated impression and showed a particular interest in our team, convincing us that he was the rider we were looking for! »


General Classification


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