Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Costa conquers first mountain stage

Portuguese rider overcomes Philippe Gilbert challenge in final climb to clnch eighth stage of Tour de France.

SUPER-BESSE, France // The Portuguese rider Rui Alberto Costa won the eighth stage of the Tour de France after withstanding a late attack from Philippe Gilbert in the final climb on Saturday.

Costa waved his hands in delight and then punched the air as he clinched the first Tour stage win of his career.

"I knew I could get in the breakaway today," he said. "The team put me in the best position. I was lucky that I managed to hold on until the end. I'm very happy with this win."

The race entered the mountains for the first time in the 189-kilometre trek from Aigurande to Super-Besse, featuring a sharp, category 2 climb up Col de la Croix and a final climb of 1.5km.

Thor Hushovd kept hold of the race leader's yellow jersey. The Norwegian has been wearing it since his Garmin-Cervelo team won last Sunday's time trial. Hushovd, who is not a renowned climber, was certain he was going to lose the yellow jersey before the stage. "Maybe I was a bit pessimistic," he said. "I didn't think I could do it."

Alexandre Vinokourov closed to within 15 seconds of Costa in the last kilometre, but the Kazakh rider ran out of steam as he had no teammates to help him. Gilbert was fresher after sitting in with the main pack for much of the day's climbs. He overtook Vinokourov after launching an attack with about 400 metres left.

None of the main Tour contenders lost any significant time. The defending champion, Alberto Contador of Spain, Luxembourg's Andy Schleck and Cadel Evans of Australia - both two-time runners-up - tested each other out with mini-attacks.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Yuvraj Singh, left, and Virat Kohli of Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrating after they won their IPL match against Delhi Daredevils at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 action at Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s power-hitters laid down a marker at the first opportunity in IPL 2014 as they cruised past a hapless Delhi Daredevils with eight wickets, 20 deliveries, and about three more gears to spare in front of a packed house at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Opening performance during Day 3 of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the First Gulf Bank Arena at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi. Mona Al-Marzooqi/ The National

In pictures: Day 3 of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

All the action from Day 3 of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the First Gulf Bank Arena at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi.

 Atletico Madrid's Cristian Rodriguez, second left, celebrates his goal with team mates, and coach Diego Simeone, third right. Atletico are on the cusp of a Primer Liga title. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

Atletico Madrid look to edge towards Primera Liga title before Chelsea visit

Diego Simeone's men need to win just four of their five remaining games to seal the Primera Liga championship and they take on Elche before the first leg of their Uefa Champions League semi-final against Chelsea on Tuesday.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National