Rui Alberto Costa battled tough conditions and huge climbs to win the 19th stage of the 2013 Tour de France.
NBC Sports Network announced the news of the victory on its Twitter account:
Rui Costa rides to victory! #TDF— NBC Sports Network (@NBCSN) July 19, 2013
He not only had to make it through a difficult 204.5 kilometer stage that featured two huge peaks, but the rain made the ride even harder. However, he survived it all to earn the victory in five hours, 59 minutes and one second.
Andreas Kloden had a solid run as well to earn second place, although he was never really in contention at 48 seconds back. Jan Bakelants also reached the podium with a third-place finish.
Here is a look at the leaderboard for Stage 19, courtesy of LeTour.com.
|1||Rui Alberto Costa||Movistar Team||5:59:01||-|
|2||Andreas Kloden||RadioShack Leopard||5:59:49||+00:48|
|3||Jan Bakelants||RadioShack Leopard||6:00:45||+1:44|
|5||Daniel Navarro||Cofidis, Solutions Credits||6:00:56||+1:55|
|6||Bart De Clercq||Lotto-Belisol||6:00:59||+1:58|
|7||Robert Gesink||Belkin Pro Cycling||6:01:04||+2:03|
|8||Alessandro De Marchi||Cannondale||6:01:06||+2:05|
|9||Mikel Nieve Iturralde||Euskaltel - Euskadi||6:01:17||+2:16|
|10||Ruben Plaza Molina||Movistar Team||6:01:45||+2:44|
Full list at LeTour.com
Stage 19 was all about the climbers, and some of the best in the race showcased their talent on the day.
The race started with a battle up the Col du Glandon, which was won by Ryder Hesjedal to give him 25 points toward the climbing competition. However, he was quickly overtaken by Pierre Rolland, who showcased his ability throughout the race.
In an effort to win back the polka-dot jersey, the French rider won the race up Col de la Madeleine and two other peaks to put himself in good shape for the battle to be the top climber.
Of course, the race truly intensified on the way up Col de la Croix Fry, when the riders had to battle the rain. Here is a look at what the competitors were seeing at the end of the stage, as captured by Le Tour:
ITV Cycling also provided a nice image of the climb:
Costa ignored the conditions and made a great run toward the end to win the final climb before coasting down to the finish line. The young competitor has now won two stages at this event and will help himself going forward.
As for the overall lead, Christopher Froome held on to the yellow jersey despite a relatively poor showing. He finished in 25th place, which was eight minutes and 40 seconds behind the leader, but his significant lead was not lost.
He is now five minutes and 11 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador in second place for the overall lead. Here is a complete look at the overall classification, courtesy of LeTour.com.
|1||Christopher Froome||Sky Procycling||77:10:00||-|
|2||Alberto Contador||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||77:15:11||+5:11|
|3||Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas||Movistar Team||77:15:32||+5:32|
|4||Roman Kreuziger||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||77:15:44||+5:44|
|5||Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver||Katusha Team||77:15:58||+5:58|
|6||Bauke Mollema||Belkin Pro Cycling||77:18:58||+8:58|
|7||Jakob Fuglsang||Astana Pro Team||77:19:33||+9:33|
|8||Daniel Navarro||Cofidis, Solutions Credits||77:22:33||+12:33|
|9||Alejandro Valverde||Movistar Team||77:24:56||+14:56|
|10||Michal Kwiatkowski||Omega Pharma-Quick Step||77:26:08||+16:08|
Full list at LeTour.com
There are only two more stages remaining in this competition, so those looking to make a run better get going or will be left behind.
Stage 20 features many more climbs from Annecy to Semnoz over the course of 125 kilometers. This will go a long way in deciding the championship before Sunday's finale.
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