In September 2013, Rui Costa was crowned Portugal’s first world road champion after a rain-soaked race in Tuscany, Italy. With many of his major rivals crashing or dropping out on ten punishing 16.5 km circuits around Florence, he caught Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez just one kilometre from the finish to win by a bike’s length.
Other highlights of 2013, Rui’s best season to date, included a win at the Klasika Primavera de Amorebieta and two stage wins at the Tour de France. Prior to his world title, his main achievements had come at the Tour de Suisse, where he won four stages between 2010 and 2013 and twice finished first in the general classification, in 2012 and 2013. He also won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal in 2011.
Born on 5th October 1986 in Aguçadoura, Póvoa de Varzim, Rui Alberto Faria da Costa first began cycling competitively at the age of 11. Encouraged by his father, he progressed through the ranks, turning pro with the Benfica team in 2007, before moving to Caisse d’Epargne in 2009 and then Movistar in 2011. He has now notched up 20 victories over his professional career.
He is a tremendously versatile rider, able to compete with the best in stage races and one-day classics over all kinds of terrain. His all-round skills – he is not only a great climber and time trialist but is also a fast sprinter in the final kilometers – led to him being named Portugal’s Athlete of the Year in 2012 above Cristiano Ronaldo.