This Sunday, October 15, Rui Costa took the victory in the Japan Cup in the streets of Utsunomiya, offering the Intermarché-Circus-Wanty its twentieth success of 2023.
It was the very first participation in this event for the team of Jean-François Bourlart. For Rui Costa, who celebrated his 37th birthday earlier this month, it was his fifth victory this season, nine months after winning the Trofeo Calvia on his debut with the Walloon team.
The former world champion triumphed in a sprint with three, defeating Felix Engelhardt and Guillaume Martin in an exemplary collective race for the Walloon team, which also placed Georg Zimmermann (5th) and Lorenzo Rota (8th) in the top ten.
Initially composed of 15 ten-kilometer laps, with each of them containing the Kogashiyama climb (2km at 6%), the race was reduced by three laps due to the intense rain.
Rui Costa :
“Winning this Japan Cup has a special meaning for me. I started the season by winning my first race in the Mallorca Challenge in January and today I took the win in my last race in Japan. Just like then, it was a very hard day because of the cold and the ongoing rain from start to finish. It was also difficult, because my contenders in the final kilometers were very strong. I decided to try it my all in the final 300 meter. It was the right decision, I’m happy to win and to offer the team its twentieth victory of the season.”