Twenty-five year old Portuguese rider Rui Costa (Movistar) won the 2012 Tour de Suisse overall on Sunday, keeping mark on his rivals in the mountains to take the biggest win of his career to date.

Estonian Tanel Kangert (Astana) proved his sixth spot in Friday’s time trial was no fluke by winning the final stage from an earlier escape group. Kangert and Jeremy Roy (FDJ-BigMat) duked it out on the final run-in to the line, with Roy unable to keep pace and having to settle for second.  Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r) came home half a minute later to take third.

Costa – who rose to prominence when he soloed to win stage eight of the Tour de France last year ahead of Philippe Gilbert and Cadel Evans – took the race lead on stage two to Verbiers and successfully defended the yellow jersey all the way to Sorenberg today. A decent performance in Friday’s individual time trial, where he finished eighth, helped consolidate his lead.

Frank Schleck gave his beleaguered RadioShack-Nissan team a pre-Tour de France boost by placing second overall, just 14 seconds adrift of Costa. Schleck launched a last-ditch attack on the Glaubenberg climb and soon stretched out a dangerous lead over the yellow jersey group. Costa, once again assisted by Movistar team-mate Alejandro Valverde, closed down the move on the descent.

Defending champion Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) rounded out the podium in third at 21 seconds.

Results

Tour de Suisse 2012, stage nine: Nafels to Sorenberg , 215.8km

1. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana in 5-54-22


2. Jerrmy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 2 secs

3. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 31 secs

4. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana at 1-46

5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank

6. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing

7. Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo Bank at same time

8. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 1-48

9. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank

10. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar at same time

Final overall classification

1. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar in 35-54-39


2. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan at 14 secs

3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 21 secs

4. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 25 secs

5. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 40 secs

6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 47 secs

7. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 48 secs

8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank at 59 secs

9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1-42

10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r La Mondiale at 1-52





Frank Schleck goes solo





Rui Costa chases Frank Schleck





Tanel Kangert wins final stage from escape





Frank Schleck, Rui Costa and Levi Leipheimer on final podium

Tour de Suisse 2012: Related links



Stage eight: Albasini wins mountain stage as Costa clings on to lead



Stage eight photo gallery



Stage seven: Kessiakoff wins time trial



Stage seven photo gallery



Stage six: Sagan strikes again



Stage six photo gallery



Stage five: Isaychev wins from break



Stage five photo gallery



Stage four: Sagan wins again



Stage four photo gallery



Stage three: Sagan sprints to second Suisse stage win



Stage two: Costa denies Schleck stage two win in Tour de Suisse



Stage one: Sagan beats Cancellara in Tour de Suisse opening time trial