Portugal’s Movistar rider Rui Costa won the Tour de Suisse after Sunday’s ninth and final stage was won by Estonian Tanel Kangert of the Astana team.
Costa finished 14 seconds ahead of Luxembourg’s Frank Schleck in the final overall standings, with American Levi Leipheimer at 21 seconds.
It was the biggest vicyory of the 25-year-old Costa’s career, with one Tour de France stage win last year to his credit.
However, it was not plain sailing for Costa on the final 215km stage, which took in two big mountain climbs.
Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk, eighth in the overall standings one minute off the lead, broke away and built up more than 30 seconds on Costa’s group with 10km to go to the finish line.
Costa’s teammate Alejandro Valverde took up the job of leading the Portuguese in the chase and slowly reeled in Kruijswijk.
Schleck also chanced his arm 5km from the summit of the Glaubenberg, 40km from the finish, building up 52 seconds on Costa, but quickly ceding that in the descent and following plateau.
? STER ZLM TOER
AFP, THE HAGUE, Netherlands
Sky rider Mark Cavendish won the Ster ZLM Toer at the end of the fourth and final stage on Sunday.
The Briton finished in 16 hours, 11 minutes, 55 seconds, eight seconds ahead of Dutch rider Lars Boom, with Belgian Juergen Roelandts in third at 14 seconds.
World champion Cavendish, who won three stages on last month’s Giro d’Italia, but missed out on his goal of the sprinters’ red jersey by just a point, competed here with an eye on his next two objectives — the Tour de France and the Olympic Games.
Isle of Man sprinter Cavendish has won a total of 20 stages at the Tour de France and last year brought home the sprinters’ green jersey for the first time.
He will aim for more of the same in the three-week epic, from June 30 to July 22, before turning his attention to the men’s Olympic road race on July 28.