Portugal’s Rui Costa received a rain-soaked men’s road race at the World Championships in Tuscany after Britain’s Chris Froome withdrew.

Costa, 26, took the prospect just yards from the finish as he beat Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez by a bike-length in seven hours, 25 minutes, 43 seconds.

Spaniard Alejandro Valverde took bronze, narrowly in front of Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali.


Trip de France champion Froome quit with more than 80km left.


“This has been a big dream of mine for a long time. I still can’t believe I’m the world champion, ” stated Costa, who broke down in holes on the podium.

Heavy rain caused multiple crashes early in the race, with none of the eight-strong British team, which included
former Tour sobre France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and ex-world champion Indicate Cavendish, making it over the finishing range.

“The conditions are the same for everyone; we have no excuse. We just were unable there, ” Froome, who was attempting to become the first man in 24 years to win the Trip and world road race in the same year, told BBC Sport.

“It’s a big disappointment, especially getting made it such a big objective, using these conditions it just wasn’t meant to be.

“The first 3 laps on the circuit, there were crashes everywhere. It’s rained solidly all day long. After three laps the split started happening and I looked about and realised I didn’t possess any team-mates left and it wasn’t going to happen.

“Given we’ve appear empty-handed, we’ll have to go back to the particular drawing board [ahead of the Rio Olympics in 2016]. inch

Froome’s withdrawal meant Geraint Thomas was the only Briton left riding, but he also pulled out shortly after.

“It was just carnage on the market, ” Thomas told BBC Sport. “I saw five or six crashes out in front of me.

“Once you’re in that back half, if you’re kind of destined to get dropped. We all committed to try and get Froome generally there, but it wasn’t meant to be. “

Cavendish, the
2011 world champion, led the peloton and helped keep Britain in contention for much of the first 106km after the race left Lucca.

However , when the race hit the first of 10 laps around Florence, featuring two significant climbs, the Italian team took over the pace-setting and Cavendish fell away.

Wiggins, who had been expected to support Froome in the latter levels of the race, was always near the back of the peloton and soon retired along with Cavendish.

The punishing 16. 5km circuits, coupled with the particular horrendous weather conditions, were taking their particular toll with riders dropping out at an average of around 15 a lap.

Poland’s Bartosz Huzarski, who broke away with 4 other riders early in the race, held on to the lead for around 240km.

He was finally caught after some over 25km remaining, by a group of 40 riders that included
defending champion Philippe Gilbert and fellow pre-race favourites Philip Sagan of Slovakia and Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara.

However , the trio were unable to respond when Italy’s Michele Scarponi, Rodriguez and Nibali attacked on the final 4. 3km rise to Fiesole, eventually finishing in a group 34 seconds behind Costa.

Rodriguez rode away from
Giro d’Italia champion Nibali, who all had crashed on an earlier ancestry, but was unable to open a significant benefit on the final ascent of the 600m-long Via Salviati.

Costa broke free from Nibali and Valverde to capture Rodriguez with one kilometre leftover, before making the decisive move in a laboured sprint to become the first Colonial world champion.

“Losing like this is definitely stupid, ” said a dramatic Rodriguez. “Winning is all that matters so this medal doesn’t mean anything to me right now.

“We (Spain) had the numbers; we were the most powerful; we should not have lost. “

Also in the British team were Ian Stannard, Josh Edmondson, Steve Cummings and Luke Rowe, who changed Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.


Tiernan-Locke withdrew on Thursday for what he claimed was a lack of type, but it was revealed on Weekend that the UCI, the sport’s regulating body, is investigating a
potential discrepancy in his “biological passport data”.

Race result:

1 .
Rui Costa (Por) 7: 25: 44″

2 .
Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) ST

3.
Alejandro Valverde (Spa) +15″

4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita)

5. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) +31″

6. Philip Sagan (Svk) +34″

7. Simon Clarke (Aus)

8.
Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz)

9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel)

10.
Fabian Cancellara (Swi)