Rui Costa of UAE Team Emirates. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: Portuguese rider and former road race world champion Rui Costa won in a time trial around Anadia near Aveiro in Portugal as UAE Team Emirates dominated in Portugal over the weekend.

The 33-year-old Costa beat Rafael Reis (Feirense) by three seconds while Spain’s Gustavo Cesar Veloso (W52-FC Porto) came in third and 22 seconds off Costa’s time on the 22km time trial course, which started and finished at the Sangalhos Velodrome.

Costa’s UAE Team Emirates teammates Ivo and Rui Oliveira took fourth and seventh places, respectively, to maintain a strong finish for the Abu Dhabi-based team.

Cycling returned to Europe over the weekend with Belgium leading the way but that event was sadly overshadowed by the death of amateur rider Niels De Vriendt.

Costa’s 2020 season began on a promising with the Portuguese rider took the opening stage to finish third overall at the Saudi Tour. The 2013 road race world champion then rode the Volta ao Algarve on home soil and took fourth place overall, before his season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic following the final stage of the Portuguese race on February 23

“I had a goal in terms of my performance and in the end I managed to stay within the limits I had set myself,” Costa later said.

“I did a good time trial, and I felt strong out on the course. During the lockdown period I worked quite well and resuming racing with a win is always good for morale,” he added.