Majka Strikes Again for Stage Win! Young Pole Rafal Majka climbed to his second mountain stage victory of the Tour de France on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Pole revealed that it was his team manager Bjarne Riis’s tactical nous that helped him both win the tough 124.5km Pyrenean stage and hold onto the polka dot jersey. Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez had started the day just a point behind Majka in the mountains classification but picked up 24 points to Majka’s 10 over the first three first category climbs. But the 35-year-old was nowhere to be seen when Majka crossed the line at Saint-Lary at the end of the final hors category ascent.
“Bjarne told me not to go for the King of the Mountain points (on the first three climbs), he said ‘wait, wait, wait, you’ll get double points at the finish’,” said Majka.
Majka picked up 50 points for finishing first with Rodriguez coming over the line in 31st place, meaning the Pole now leads Vincenzo Nibali, the yellow jersey wearer, by 31 points.
Vincenzo Nibali extended his overall lead by 49sec to 5:26 ahead of Alejandro Valverde.
French veteran Jean-Christophe Peraud was the big mover amongst the leading six, closing to just 8sec of Thibaut Pinot in third place as he finished alongside Nibali.
“I’m very happy with my form: hanging onto Nibali in the third week! I had the good fortune of having him as a point of reference. He worked with me and I thank him for that,” said the AG2R rider, who was ninth at the Tour in 2011.
“For me it was important to gain some seconds. (Peraud) is quite far behind (6:08) so he’s not a danger to me,” said the 29-year-old Astana leader.
“I was looking to gain time on my main rivals. It was a very tough day so I’m very satisfied with how it went.”
Even so, Nibali refused to pop the champagne corks just yet.
“It’s true that Valverde lost some time today but he’s going well. There’s still another tough day tomorrow and then we’ve also got a 54km time trial before I can weigh up where I am.”
Read more at: http://pelotonmagazine.com/feedzone/majka-strikes-again-for-stage-win/
1. Rafal Majka (POL/TIN) 3hr 35min 23sec
2. Giovanni Visconti (ITA/MOV) at 0:29.
3. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 0:46.
4. Jean Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM) s.t.
5. Alessandro De Marchi (ITA/CAN) 0:49.
6. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC) 0:52.
7. Frank Schleck (LUX/TRE) 1:12.
8. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) s.t.
9. Nicolas Roche (IRL/TIN) 1:25.
10. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 1:35.
11. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 1:40.
12. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) s.t.
13. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t.
14. Laurens ten Dam (NED/BKN) 1:50.
15. Jon Izagirre (ESP/MOV) s.t.
16. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 2:01.
17. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/LAM) 2:05.
18. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 2:34.
19. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 2:52.
20. Amaël Moinard (FRA/BMC) 3:02.
1. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 76hr 41min 28sec
2. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) at 5:26.
3. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 6:00.
4. Jean Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM) 6:08.
5. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 7:34.
6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 10:19.
7. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) 11:59.
8. Laurens ten Dam (NED/BKN) 12:16.
9. Leopold König (CZE/APP) 12:40.
10. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC) 13:15.
11. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 14:26.
12. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 16:08.
13. Frank Schleck (LUX/TRE) 18:03.
14. Yury Trofimov (RUS/KAT) 28:00.
15. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 31:00.
16. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/BKN) s.t.
17. Brice Feillu (FRA/BSE) 32:14.
18. Chris Horner (USA/LAM) 34:48.
19. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 36:09.
20. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) 36:41.