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Vuelta’17 Diary: Rui Costa’s Gruelling Final Week
Tour Diary: UAE Team Emirates’ Rui Costa reflects on a gruelling three weeks at La Vuelta.

Speaking in his weekly column for PezCyclingNews, former World Champion and UAE Team Emirates’ rider Rui Costa reflects on the culmination of three gruelling weeks at the Vuelta.

Vuelta Espana 2017 - 72th Edition - 8th stage Hellin - Xorret de Cati 199.5 km - 26/08/2017 - Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (POR - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2017

My Final Week
I was aiming for a stage victory in the final week but unfortunately I wasn’t able to achieve that goal. I tried my best this Tour and I guess the margins between winning and coming close can be so fine.

Stage 19 was my best opportunity to land a victory - I was aware that it was important to be in the breakaway and I was waiting for that bit of luck that I missed on previous stages. I succeeded in being amongst the attackers and was disappointed that I didn’t win since my legs felt great and the victory seemed achievable. I was really focused on the last part of the stage and felt very strong on the final climb - I gave my best until the end but ultimately I just didn’t have enough. Hard work is always the key to any win, but sometimes you also need that extra bit of luck.

UAE Team Emirates’ Vuelta
The team has had a pretty successful Vuelta with a stage victory, a number of top five and top ten finishes and Louis Meintjes’ admirable 12th place in the General Classification (GC). The overall performance of the team is something I have been proud of throughout and the final week was no different with the guys producing a series of attacking displays of undeniable class.

We have a fantastic support team at UAE Team Emirates, from the nutritionists, to the doctors, to the coaches and Sports Directors – they all played a really pivotal role in making sure we were prepared for the challenges of each individual stage.

Vuelta Espana 2017 - 72th Edition - 4th stage Escaldes - Tarragona 198.2 km - 22/08/2017 - Darwin Atapuma (COL - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2017

Bidding farewell to the Last Grand Tour of the Season
This was my first Vuelta a Espana and I am glad I got the opportunity to ride it. The Vuelta came to an end in Madrid on the prestigious Paseo del Prado. In comparison to the previous Grand Tours that I have taken part in, the Vuelta’s climbs are more frequent, steeper and in many cases more demanding. I think the greatest challenge on reflection, apart from chasing stage victories, was maintaining form and trying to manage my energy as best as possible.

Now that the third Grand Tour is done, I can bid it farewell with the hope that the next time I come here victory will be something that is in the cards. As for the remainder of my season, I am looking forward to taking part in the World Championships and then I’ll be off to my last target for the season - Il Lombardia.

Alongside Rui Costa, the UAE Team Emirates line-up for the 2017 Vuelta consisted of 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 remainder of the season by visiting

Madrid - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Nick Schulz (Caja Rural) - Alessandro DE MARCHI (BMC Racing Team) - Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA (Portugal/ Team UAE Emirates)  pictured during La Vuelta ciclista a Espana 2017 (2.UWT) stage 21 from Arroyomolinos - Madrid (117,6 km) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

You can catch up with Rui Costa's look ahead to la Vuelta, his first week and his second week of Rui Costa's Vuelta diary.


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