Recent Japan Cup winner set to move on from Intermarché-Circus-Wanty

Vuelta a España stage 15: Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) celebrates the win

Vuelta a España stage 15: Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) celebrates the win (Image credit: Getty Images)

Leading Portuguese veteran racer Rui Costa has been linked to EF Education-EasyPost as his new team for 2024, just as he ends one of his most successful seasons in years.

According to Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, the former World Champion and winner of the Japan Cup this weekend is set to sign for the American WorldTour team.

Due to turn 38 in early October, Costa has just raced for a single season with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty after a six-year spell at UAE Team Emirates, where he was one of the last survivors from the squad’s previous incarnation as Lampre.  

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The last few years have been a lean period for Costa, but in 2023, he has racked up five victories across the season. These were his first wins since 2020 and the most for Costa in a single year since 2013 when he outclassed Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez for the Road World Championships title in Firenze.

Costa’s wins include the the Japan Cup and the overall of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, one of the Mallorca Challenge race. The real highlight, though, was a stage of the Vuelta a España, his first victory at WorldTour level since a stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné way back in 2015 and taken ahead of another great breakaway specialist, Germany’s Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Costa told Cyclingnews this February that his new lease of life at Intermarché came after he had felt ‘limited’ during his lengthy stint at UAE Team Emirates.

Yet despite these results, as well as taking fourth in Strade Bianche and fifth in Gran Piemonte, Costa’s failure to sign again with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty are apparently to do with a squeezed budget for 2024. Now, however, it would appear he is on the point of finding a new squad for next year.

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