A year after signing a contract with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, where he once again found the freedom to choose some of the races on the calendar that brought him back to winning ways, Rui Costa will be heading for a new team, according to O Jogo.
It is well known that the current team is going through a less good time financially and would be making an effort to keep the athlete in its ranks, but negotiations have become complicated as the team's second sponsor, Circus, has decided to reduce its investment in the team by 50%, because by legal imposition in Belgium, the size of advertising for brands linked to betting and casinos will be reduced from 2025 and could even be banned in 2028.
Once October was over, it was vital for the 2013 world champion to find a professional solution to continue his career. However, there is good news, as Rui Costa will be on the World Tour for another year and has already signed a one-year contract, says his manager João Correia: "We waited as long as possible. Rui liked the team, the team liked Rui. We had to decide, no matter how much it cost us. He'll be in a team that will give him opportunities".
"Unfortunately, age is now a problem to negotiate in the World Tour, because all the teams want the next great youngster. Moving at 37 is more complicated, but Rui has shown that he's one of the best cyclists in the world. He had options and we think that, sportingly, it's the best chance. He'll have freedom," continues João Correia, stating that "next week everyone will know the team Rui will be racing for next season."
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The season that is now coming to an end was Rui Costa's first after leaving Emirates and it brought him back into the limelight, as this year he won the Trofeo Calvia, a stage and the overall classification of the Vuelta a Comunitat Valenciana and a stage of the Vuelta a Espana. He finished top-5 in the Strade Bianche, top-10 in San Sebastián and 13th in the last monument in Il Lombardia
Some rumors point to him as a possible reinforcement for two teams: Movistar Team and Astana Qazaqstan Team. We now have to wait until next week to find out what Rui Costa's new team will be.
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Article written by Carlos Silva.