Tour de France

Majka wins steep TDF Stage 17

2014-07-23 18:00
Rafal Majka (AFP)

Saint-Lary-Soulan - Rafal Majka has won his second stage of the 2014 Tour de France on Wednesday and also extended his lead in the King of the Mountains standings.

And 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 polkadot 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.

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.

On Tuesday morning Peraud was sixth overall and more than a minute behind his teammate Bardet in third.

But the 37-year-old has steadily climbed the standings and with one mountain stage left on Thursday -- in which the epic Tourmalet and Hautacam mountains will be climbed -- Peraud is in a good position to finish on the podium.

He is a better timetriallist than any of those competing for a top three finish.

Just as he did in the second of the two Alpine stages, Peraud proved the only rider capable of holding onto Nibali's wheel when the Italian accelerated on the final climb.

"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.

Peraud spent a lot of time just tagged onto Nibali's back wheel but the Italian said that didn't bother him as he put time into Valverde and Pinot.

"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 timetrial before I can weigh up where I am."

A series of different breakaway groups throughout the day eventually ended up with a 14-strong one at the foot of the final climb.

Four men got away before Giovanni Visconti, who like Nibali is Sicilian, took off on his own.

Majka had accelerated a couple of times out of the bunch but Rodriguez refused to work with him and just settled behind his wheel.

But when the Pole went a third time he got clear and gradually chased down Visconti.

The pair rode together for a while before Majka attacked and the Italian, who finished second on the stage, could not respond.

Nibali gobbled up the stragglers from the breakaway group and crossed the line third, with Peraud fourth.

Valverde showed his experience by hanging in when he was dropped by an acceleration from Pinot, that was followed by Bardet and American Tejay Van Garderen.

But Valverde let two teammates pace him back up to the young trio and he even gained 5sec on them with a little burst just before the line.

Results from the 17th stage of the Tour de France, a 124.5km ride from Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Lary on Wednesday:

Stage
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) 0:46.
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) 1:12.
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) 1:40.
13. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 1:40.
14. Laurens ten Dam (NED/BKN) 1:50.
15. Jon Izagirre (ESP/MOV) 1:50.
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. Amal Moinard (FRA/BMC) 3:02.

Overall
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 Knig (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) 31:00.
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.
21. John Gadret (FRA/MOV) 37:01.
22. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 37:25.
23. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 47:04.
24. Ben Gastauer (LUX/ALM) 48:12.
25. Jan Bakelants (BEL/OPQ) 49:54.
26. Cyril Gautier (FRA/EUC) 50:35.
27. Peter Velits (SVK/BMC) 53:48.
28. Michael Rogers (AUS/TIN) 58:22.
29. Tony Gallopin (FRA/LTB) 1h03:47.
30. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) 1h16:28.
31. Arnold Jeannesson (FRA/FDJ) 1h22:29.
32. Marcel Wyss (SUI/IAM) 1h23:31.
33. Luis ngel Mat (ESP/COF) 1h23:35.
34. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 1h25:51.
35. Jon Izagirre (ESP/MOV) 1h29:55.
36. Bram Tankink (NED/BKN) 1h33:46.
37. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/IAM) 1h34:37.
38. Peter Stetina (USA/BMC) 1h36:11.
39. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 1h36:23.
40. Giovanni Visconti (ITA/MOV) 1h39:26.
41. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) 1h42:14.
42. Amal Moinard (FRA/BMC) 1h43:09.
43. Nicolas Roche (IRL/TIN) 1h43:57.
44. Jos Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) 1h46:56.
45. Jos Serpa Perez (COL/LAM) 1h48:24.
46. Michael Schr (SUI/BMC) 1h50:09.
47. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 1h53:14.
48. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/LAM) 1h56:09.
49. Michele Scarponi (ITA/AST) 1h59:06.
50. Paul Voss (GER/APP) 2h01:41.
51. Alessandro De Marchi (ITA/CAN) 2h05:42.
52. Rafal Majka (POL/TIN) 2h06:38.
53. Mickal Cherel (FRA/ALM) 2h07:35.
54. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 2h10:19.
55. Benjamin King (USA/GRM) 2h16:02.
56. Michal Golas (POL/OPQ) 2h18:53.
57. Tom Slagter (NED/GRM) 2h19:44.
58. Jens Keukeleire (BEL/ORI) 2h20:02.
59. Jrme Pineau (FRA/IAM) 2h20:59.
60. Jeremy Roy (FRA/FDJ) 2h22:13.
61. Peter Sagan (SVK/CAN) 2h22:14.
62. Rudy Molard (FRA/COF) 2h22:27.
63. Florian Guillou (FRA/BSE) 2h22:54.
64. Jos Herrada Lopez (ESP/MOV) 2h26:08.
65. Matteo Montaguti (ITA/ALM) 2h27:49.
66. Adam Hansen (AUS/LTB) 2h28:59.
67. Michael Albasini (SUI/ORI) 2h30:43.
68. Jan Brta (CZE/APP) 2h30:46.
69. Markel Irizar (ESP/TRE) 2h34:11.
70. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN/EUC) 2h34:11.
71. Martin Elmiger (SUI/IAM) 2h34:13.
72. Daniel Oss (ITA/BMC) 2h35:03.
73. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) 2h35:11.
74. Kvin Reza (FRA/EUC) 2h35:59.
75. Tiago Machado (POR/APP) 2h36:12.
76. Lars Ytting Bak (DEN/LTB) 2h39:09.
77. Bartosz Huzarski (POL/APP) 2h40:16.
78. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR/SKY) 2h43:01.
79. Anthony Delaplace (FRA/BSE) 2h43:35.
80. Johan Van Summeren (BEL/GRM) 2h43:43.
81. Marco Marcato (ITA/CAN) 2h49:27.
82. Lieuwe Westra (NED/AST) 2h49:45.
83. Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA/FDJ) 2h52:07.
84. Blel Kadri (FRA/ALM) 2h53:14.
85. Koen de Kort (NED/GIA) 2h53:53.
86. Sbastien Reichenbach (SWI/IAM) 2h54:03.
87. Rubn Plaza (ESP/MOV) 2h55:43.
88. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA/ALM) 2h58:40.
89. Sergio Paulinho (POR/TIN) 2h58:46.
90. Nlson Oliveira (POR/LAM) 2h59:44.
91. Imanol Erviti (ESP/MOV) 3h00:06.
92. Matteo Trentin (ITA/OPQ) 3h01:56.
93. Niki Terpstra (NED/OPQ) 3h04:16.
94. Florian Vachon (FRA/BSE) 3h04:30.
95. Alexandre Pichot (FRA/EUC) 3h05:01.
96. Jens Voigt (GER/TRE) 3h05:14.
97. Rein Taaramae (EST/COF) 3h06:03.
98. Daniele Bennati (ITA/TIN) 3h06:39.
99. Sbastien Minard (FRA/ALM) 3h07:02.
100. Gregory Rast (SUI/TRE) 3h07:04.
101. Perrig Quemeneur (FRA/EUC) 3h07:48.
102. Sep Vanmarcke (BEL/BKN) 3h08:01.
103. Matthew Busche (USA/TRE) 3h09:23.
104. Bryan Coquard (FRA/EUC) 3h09:37.
105. Lars Boom (NED/BKN) 3h10:30.
106. Cyril Lemoine (FRA/COF) 3h11:37.
107. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 3h12:14.
108. David Lopez (ESP/SKY) 3h12:35.
109. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/IAM) 3h12:43.
110. Roy Curvers (NED/GIA) 3h13:37.
111. Fabio Sabatini (ITA/CAN) 3h14:13.
112. Maciej Bodnar (POL/CAN) 3h14:52.
113. Maarten Wijnants (BEL/BKN) 3h15:23.
114. Cedric Pineau (FRA/FDJ) 3h15:49.
115. Jrgen Roelandts (BEL/LTB) 3h16:22.
116. Simon Clarke (AUS/ORI) 3h16:23.
117. Gatis Smukulis (LAT/KAT) 3h17:11.
118. Benat Intxausti (ESP/MOV) 3h21:01.
119. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) 3h23:56.
120. Luke Durbridge (AUS/ORI) 3h24:22.
121. Christian Meier (CAN/ORI) 3h26:19.
122. Bernhard Eisel (AUT/SKY) 3h28:47.
123. Jean-Marc Bideau (FRA/BSE) 3h28:53.
124. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA) 3h28:57.
125. Matteo Tosatto (ITA/TIN) 3h31:23.
126. Alex Howes (USA/GRM) 3h32:15.
127. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 3h34:41.
128. Yohann Gene (FRA/EUC) 3h35:05.
129. Jos Mendes (POR/APP) 3h37:00.
130. Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ/AST) 3h37:26.
131. Tom Leezer (NED/BKN) 3h39:14.
132. Christophe Riblon (FRA/ALM) 3h41:37.
133. Svein Tuft (CAN/ORI) 3h41:40.
134. Arnaud Gerard (FRA/BSE) 3h42:00.
135. Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ/AST) 3h43:29.
136. Kristjan Koren (SLO/CAN) 3h44:07.
137. Luca Paolini (ITA/KAT) 3h47:24.
138. Michael Morkov (DEN/TIN) 3h48:31.
139. Roger Kluge (GER/IAM) 3h48:41.
140. Armindo Fonseca (FRA/BSE) 3h48:45.
141. Sbastian Langeveld (NED/GRM) 3h50:56.
142. Jack Bauer (NZL/GRM) 3h53:15.
143. Marcel Sieberg (GER/LTB) 3h56:55.
144. Alessandro Vanotti (ITA/AST) 3h59:02.
145. Mark Renshaw (AUS/OPQ) 4h00:07.
146. Ramunas Navardauskas (LTU/GRM) 4h00:28.
147. Mickael Delage (FRA/FDJ) 4h01:04.
148. Albert Timmer (NED/GIA) 4h02:26.
149. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BMC) 4h02:48.
150. Zakkari Dempster (AUS/APP) 4h03:00.
151. Benoit Jarrier (FRA/BSE) 4h03:54.
152. Romain Feillu (FRA/BSE) 4h05:52.
153. Andreas Schillinger (GER/APP) 4h07:02.
154. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/OPQ) 4h07:13.
155. Andr Greipel (GER/LTB) 4h07:16.
156. Danny Pate (USA/SKY) 4h09:01.
157. Tom Veelers (NED/GIA) 4h09:03.
158. Vladimir Isaichev (RUS/KAT) 4h14:25.
159. Arnaud Dmare (FRA/FDJ) 4h16:07.
160. Adrien Petit (FRA/COF) 4h16:26.
161. William Bonnet (FRA/FDJ) 4h17:40.
162. Jean-Marc Marino (FRA/CAN) 4h18:16.
163. Marcel Kittel (GER/GIA) 4h21:22.
164. Elia Viviani (ITA/CAN) 4h24:06.
165. Davide Cimolai (ITA/LAM) 4h33:10.
166. Ji Cheng (CHN/GIA) 4h58:32.

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