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Costa crowned world road race champion


Costa crowned world road race champion


Rui Costa became Portugal’s very first world road race champion after upsetting the favourites in a crash-riddled race in Florence.

The elite men’s road race took place over 272 kilometres starting in Lucca and finishing with ten laps of 16 kilometres around Florence.

A sizeable 42-man group entered the final lap together but Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez and Italian Vincenzo Nibali soon picked up the pace to whittle down the front runners to a handful of riders.

They were joined over the top by Costa, Alejandro Valverde and Rigoberto Uran, although Colombian Uran crashed out of contention on the final descent.

Costa made his move just metres from the finish and held on to beat a surging Rodriguez by a bike-length.

Valverde took bronze, narrowly pipping Nibali to the last spot on the podium.

Heavy rain caused multiple crashes on the day.

Tour de France champion Chris Froome abandoned the race with some 100 kilometres left:

Froome withdrew with six laps remaining after British team mates Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish also abandoned.

Former world champion Cadel Evans of Australia also hit the deck hard and needed a trip to the hospital while the American team also suffered with Taylor Phinney, Chris Horner and Tejay van Garderen all pulling out.

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