Rui Costa turned the established order upside down in the Volta Valenciana, winning the fifth stage and final general classification this Sunday. The 92 kilometer stage contained two main climbs in the first race half, among which La Frontera (5 km at 9%), the most demanding of the event.
It was at the foot of La Frontera, with 50 kilometer to go, that the competition between the GC favorites was opened. Eight riders managed to isolate themselves at the top, with Rui Costa following around 20 seconds later in the first chasing group. On his own, the Portuguese rider managed to bridge to the lead of the race downhill. He started the last 40 kilometer towards Valencia in a group chased by a peloton of around 30 riders, led by five riders of Bahrain-Victorious.
But the group managed to resist, maintaining a 20 second gap until the last two kilometer. It was at that moment that Rui Costa attacked, alongside Thymen Arensman, and was never caught back. The former world champion launched his sprint with 200 meter to go and won.
Seventh at 14 seconds of the yellow jersey at the start of the stage, he finally became the winner of the final classification with an advantage of 16 seconds to the second, offering Intermarché-Circus-Wanty the fifth and sixth victory of the season.