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Vuelta’17 Diary: Rui Costa’s First Week
Tour Diary: Rui Costa from UAE Team Emirates discusses the first week of Vuelta.

Speaking in his weekly column for PezCyclingNews, former World Champion and UAE Team Emirates’ rider Rui Costa gives us the inside scoop on cycling at the Vuelta a España and how the team are working to achieve their goals.

Xorret de Cati - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - illustration - sfeer - illustratie feedzone George BENNETT (New Sealand / Team Lotto NL - Jumbo) - Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA (Portugal/ Team UAE Emirates)  pictured during La Vuelta ciclista a Espana 2017 (2.UWT) stage 8 from Hellín - Xorret de Cati (199,5 km) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Riding at la Vuelta
It has been a really interesting week here on the final Grand Tour of the season.

Living in Andorra, I know some of the routes on this year’s Vuelta really well and it was nice to be able to cycle so close to home in some of the early stages. The scenery here is beautiful, especially the approach going into Andorra la Vella that was part of Stage Three. Whilst the considerable altitude can produce a bigger effort on your riding, the view looking into the valley and on the descent certainly make up for it! But despite living in Andorra, it is actually my first time competing at the Vuelta. I’m finding it really enjoyable, although riding here is very different to the Tour de France or the Giro.

Whilst it might not be as hectic as the Tour, the physical conditions here are more intense, especially the heat, which often goes above 30 degrees Celsius. You’ll see most riders are taking on more fluids during the race to keep hydrated – something that is crucial if you want to keep up a high level of performance. Luckily, I’ve acclimatized to the heat, but there are certainly riders who prefer the cooler temperatures.

We have a fantastic support team at UAE Team Emirates, from the nutritionists, to doctors, to coaches, to sports directors – they all play a really important part in making sure we are prepared for the challenges of each individual stage.

UAE Team Emirates
The team has produced some outstanding performances this week. There is no feeling that can compare to a victory, crossing that line knowing you got there with the support of your team and your own legs. Matej Mohoric’s win will have felt pretty sweet – it certainly did for the team. Jan Polanc was in fighting mode the following day and it was great to have another teammate on the podium. We will be chasing down some more stage wins over the next few days – watch out for the UAE colors as we look to keep the momentum going!

Andorra La Vella - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA (Portugal/ Team UAE Emirates)  pictured during La Vuelta ciclista a Espana 2017 (2.UWT) stage 3 from  Prades Conflent Canigo - Andorra La Vella (158,5 km) - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2017

Rui’s Race
I started the year really strong, winning the Abu Dhabi Tour which was a great feeling. I’m looking to recapture some of that form over the coming weeks as the race starts to hot up.

The climbs are gradually increasing and there are a few category one climbs that could be a serious test on the legs – Stage Ten’s Collado Bermejo and the two category one climbs the following day will likely have a big impact on the GC standings. I’m looking forward to it though, my legs feel pretty good, despite the recent crash, and I’m going into the next part of the race with a lot to look forward to.


The UAE Team Emirates line-up includes: Rui Costa, Louis Meintjes, Darwin Atapuma, Sacha Modolo, Jan Polanc, Federico Zurlo, Matej Mohoric and Przemyslaw Niemiec.

Keep up to date with UAE Team Emirates throughout the Vuelta a España by visiting


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