• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 7:38pm
SportOther Sport
CYCLING

Poland's Rafal Majka wins 14th stage of Tour de France

Young rider, 21, makes amends for Friday's second to overall race leader Vincenzo Nibali

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 July, 2014, 2:11am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 July, 2014, 2:11am

Rafal Majka made up for the disappointment of finishing second on Friday by winning yesterday's 14th stage of the Tour de France as Vincenzo Nibali continued to distance his rivals.

Pole Majka broke away from an 11-strong escape group on the final first category climb to Risoul and managed to hold off a charging Nibali to win the 177km Alpine stage from Grenoble.

It was a welcome relief for Majka having been reeled in and passed by Nibali on Friday's first stage in the Alps, but also for his Tinkoff-Saxo team after losing leader Alberto Contador to injury.

At the bottom of the final climb, we had an advantage of 1 minute, 10 seconds over the peloton and I attacked and I dropped everyone
Rafal Majka

"This morning I spoke with my teammates because yesterday I was second and I spoke also with the team and [manager] Bjarne [Riise] and I said if I get in the breakaway I will win the stage," said the 24-year-old Majka.

"At the bottom of the final climb, we had an advantage of 1 minute, 10 seconds over the peloton and I attacked and I dropped everyone, [Joaquim] Rodriguez and the Cannondale rider [Alessandro De Marchi], and I tried to win alone.

"When the gap was 35 seconds with 2km left to the finish I kept my motivation and fought for the stage win."

Majka held on to win by 24 seconds to Nibali with 37-year-old Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud coming over the line just two seconds later.

Nibali had attacked his rivals in the overall standings inside the final 4km and as he rode away the true battle for the podium places really started to hot up.

Second placed Alejandro Valverde started to struggle around 2km from home, allowing young French pair Thibaut Pinto and Romain Bardet, as well as American Tejay Van Garderen, to gain time as they came in fifth through to seventh.

Valverde rolled over the line in 10th and lost 30 seconds to Van Garderen and 34 seconds to the two Frenchmen. The Spanish veteran drifted out to 4:37 behind Nibali. "Nibali is the strongest but there's nothing in it between the rest of us," said Valverde.

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