My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

"No regrets", says Rui Costa

Category: Cycling

Rui Costa signed a one year deal with Lampre-Merida before winning the world championships in Florence in September. He says that it was the correct decision in light of the current market in professional cycling.

"No, I don't regret it one bit," Rui Costa told Marca. "If you’re aiming for the Worlds and win, then maybe you can get a better contract. But if you fall and get injured, who's going to sign you in a year when Vacansoleil, Euskaltel and Sojasun all disappear? There are dozens of quality riders without a contract for 2014.

"Lampre-Merida gave me the opportunity to be a leader in several races and that made my mind up for me. They believed in me before I became champion and that confirms my choice."

Rui Costa decided to leave Movistar, as he has ambitions in three-week stage races. He won two stages at this year's Tour de France, but had to sacrificed his own place on general classification to help Alejandro Valverde, when he suffered mechanical trouble on stage 13.

In Lampre-Merida, Costa will be the leader at the Tour de France. However, he is not sure about his chances in the race.

"I've always said that I'm not sure what kind of rider I am. When I was an under-23 rider, it was the same thing: I was up there with the best in one-day races but I also won the overall at the Giro delle Regioni," Costa said.

"As a professional, it's clear that there are classics and one-week stages that I can win, I've shown that. But you have to be humble and realistic: I've never won a three-week race, so I can't say I'm a favourite for the Tour.

"You have to climb the steps one by one, and in the grand tours, I still have a lot to improve upon. But I've only just turned 27 and as the years go by, my endurance is improving. So I still have hope of improving more and then maybe some day I can be in the fight."
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