Tour de France Stage 17: Rafal Majka takes his second stage win

Vincenzo Nibali extends lead

by Simon_MacMichael   July 23, 2014  

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Rafal Majka of Tinkoff-Saxo has taken his second stage win of the 2014 Tour de France, attacking on the day's final climb to Saint-Lary - Pla d'Adet in the Pyrenees and getting across to Movistar's Giovanni Visconti before dropping the Italianwith  2 kilometres remaining.

The Pole led the mountains classification by a single point from Katusha's Joaquin Rodriguez this morning, but with the Spaniard dropped he extends his margin with double points on offer on the final Hors-Categorie climb.

Visconti finished second, 23 seconds behind, with Astana's Vincenzo Nibali thrid to consolidate his lead. One of the day's main losers was Movistar's Alejandro Valverde, second overall this morning but dropped from the group containing the riders threatening his position.

Majka, called up to the team as a late replacement for Roman Kreuziguer pulled out of the squad due to irregularities in his biological passport, took his first stage victory at Risoul on Sunday to help Tinkoff-Saxo put the disappointment of losing Alberto Contador behind him.

On the first of today’s four climbs, the Category 1 Col de Portillon, Rodriguez took the maximum points 10 points on offer to become virtual leader of the mountains classification, but Majka was eyeing a bigger prize – the stage win, and the 50 points that came with it – and the Katusha man was unable to stay with him on the last ascent.

Team Sky’s Vasil Kiryienka attacked from a 22-man breakaway group approaching the day’s second climb, the Col du Peyresourde with 55 kilometres left to ride, but was caught with 22 kilometres remaining ahead of the summit of the penultimate climb, the Col de Val Louron-Azet.

Besides Majka’s stage-winning attack, the other big move on the final ascent came from Nibali, who extends his lead over Valverde to 5 minutes 26 seconds.

AG2R’s Jean-Christophe Peraud was able to follow Valverde, and now lies fourth overall, 42 seconds behind the Spaniard and just 8 seconds down on fellow Frenchman Thibaut Pinot of FDJ.fr.

With the final day in the mountains tomorrow, featuring the Tourmalet and the Hautacam, and an individual time trial looming in Friday, there is a real prospect of France having two men on the podium for the first time since 1984.

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8 user comments

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GT is out of the top 20 aswell Yawn

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8859 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 16:57

32 Likes

Get in! Another winner I had, that's stage 14, 16 & 17 recently! Finally recouped my world cup losses at the bookies. I should quit now, problem is that's no fun!

posted by daddyELVIS [409 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 18:52

29 Likes

Loving this Tour! A Pole with a lock on the climber's jersey, a Slovenian with a lock on the points, a couple French teams fighting it out to get on the podium in Paris...young guys in total control of the race

Sure isn't the snoozer it could have been with Cav, Contador and Froome out!

"because a goal without a plan is just a wish"

posted by bikeyourbest [23 posts]
24th July 2014 - 2:43

41 Likes

Not sure about all this cocky winking at the camera and what was that grabbing the bike business about?!?! The guy is a bit weird in the head if that's how he thinks he should behave.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1143 posts]
24th July 2014 - 7:52

28 Likes

Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Not sure about all this cocky winking at the camera and what was that grabbing the bike business about?!?! The guy is a bit weird in the head if that's how he thinks he should behave.

You feel free to go ahead and win a stage like yesterday, then maybe I'll listen to your bleating about how a win should or should not be celebrated.

posted by farrell [1457 posts]
24th July 2014 - 9:21

16 Likes

Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Not sure about all this cocky winking at the camera and what was that grabbing the bike business about?!?! The guy is a bit weird in the head if that's how he thinks he should behave.

Grabbing the bike was getting a small advantage anywhere he could. Winking at the camera was showing a bit of personality even though he was busy winning a bike race at the time. In my view, the more of that, the better - sport is for entertainment (should we even say 'fun'?), after all.

posted by step-hent [683 posts]
24th July 2014 - 12:59

16 Likes

farrell wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Not sure about all this cocky winking at the camera and what was that grabbing the bike business about?!?! The guy is a bit weird in the head if that's how he thinks he should behave.

You feel free to go ahead and win a stage like yesterday, then maybe I'll listen to your bleating about how a win should or should not be celebrated.

OK. Cock.

And for the record he wasn't winning at the time, but he was cocky enough to assume he would….strange behaviour and disrespectful. Unless he knew he couldn't be beaten, which is a strange mindset to have in professional sport.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1143 posts]
24th July 2014 - 21:50

11 Likes

Colin Peyresourde wrote:
but he was cocky enough to assume he would

He was miles out with that assumption wasn't he:
http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20140723&Cat...

posted by farrell [1457 posts]
24th July 2014 - 22:43

11 Likes