Rui Costa ends reign as world champion

Rui Costa finishes year as world champion, but will return to lead Lampre-Merida in the Tour de France

Rui Costa celebrates winning the 2014 Tour de Suisse

(Image credit: Watson)

Portugal's Rui Costa closed a year of mixed fortunes in the rainbow jersey of World Champion on Sunday in Ponferrada, Spain. After winning in Florence last year, the 27-year-old joined Lampre-Merida for 2014 and began his rainbow run.

His run as world champion was not as successful as it was for Mark Cavendish, but then the Briton sprints and has more opportunities to win. Costa did, however, win as much as 2012 Champion, Belgium's Philippe Gilbert: once. You could say twice if you count the ninth stage to Saas-Fee and the Tour de Suisse overall win that came along with it on the same day in April.

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