Twenty-five year old Portuguese rider Rui Costa (Movistar) won the 2012 Tour de Suisse overall on Sunday, keeping mark on his rivals in the mountains to take the biggest win of his career to date.
Estonian Tanel Kangert (Astana) proved his sixth spot in Friday’s time trial was no fluke by winning the final stage from an earlier escape group. Kangert and Jeremy Roy (FDJ-BigMat) duked it out on the final run-in to the line, with Roy unable to keep pace and having to settle for second. Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r) came home half a minute later to take third.
Costa – who rose to prominence when he soloed to win stage eight of the Tour de France last year ahead of Philippe Gilbert and Cadel Evans – took the race lead on stage two to Verbiers and successfully defended the yellow jersey all the way to Sorenberg today. A decent performance in Friday’s individual time trial, where he finished eighth, helped consolidate his lead.
Frank Schleck gave his beleaguered RadioShack-Nissan team a pre-Tour de France boost by placing second overall, just 14 seconds adrift of Costa. Schleck launched a last-ditch attack on the Glaubenberg climb and soon stretched out a dangerous lead over the yellow jersey group. Costa, once again assisted by Movistar team-mate Alejandro Valverde, closed down the move on the descent.
Defending champion Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) rounded out the podium in third at 21 seconds.
Tour de Suisse 2012, stage nine: Nafels to Sorenberg , 215.8km
1. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana in 5-54-22
2. Jerrmy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 2 secs
3. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 31 secs
4. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana at 1-46
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing
7. Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo Bank at same time
8. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 1-48
9. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
10. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar at same time
Final overall classification
1. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar in 35-54-39
2. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 14 secs
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 21 secs
4. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 25 secs
5. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 40 secs
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 47 secs
7. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 48 secs
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank at 59 secs
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1-42
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r La Mondiale at 1-52
Frank Schleck goes solo
Rui Costa chases Frank Schleck
Tanel Kangert wins final stage from escape
Frank Schleck, Rui Costa and Levi Leipheimer on final podium
Tour de Suisse 2012: Related links