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Press Releases | 25.05.2019

Rafal Majka again shows valiant effort with fourth place on brutal 14th stage of Giro d'Italia

On the 14th stage of the Giro d’Italia, which took the peloton over 131km through the highlands from Saint-Vincent to Courmayeur, the riders had to crest five categorised climbs and no less than 3000 metres of climbing. Only 7 km after the start, the route went upwards to Verrayes.  A few kilometres later, a first category climb to Verrogne, which had a gradient of more than 7 per cent, awaited the peloton, before yet more climbing over the Truc d’Arbre and the Colle San Carlo, the latter of which was up to 10 per cent steep. After the peak came a descent into the Aosta valley, consisting of numerous twists and turns, before the climbing began yet again towards the finishing town of Courmayeur. It did not take long before a large group of riders, including Rafal Majka and Davide Formolo, escaped on the first climb. Eight riders then forged ahead and put themselves at the front. The chasing group allowed them the freedom to go and the advantage grew to around 2:30 minutes. In the climb to Verrogne, the longest ascent of the day, the main field caught up to the chasers.  At this point, a quartet attacked from the chasing group and set after the eight leaders. Meanwhile, back in the field Jumbo - Visma took the reins on the ascent to keep the distance to the leaders, which at times was more than two minutes, to a minimum.  On the flat before the third climb, the Truc d'Arbes, the chasing quartet caught up to the eight leaders and they sat 2 minutes ahead of the main field. The distance to the peloton, which was still lead by Jumbo - Visima, remained at around two minutes. Back in the field, Rafal Majka, supported by his teammates Davide Formolo, Pawel Poljanski and Cesare Benedetti, came to the front at the beginning of the torturous climb. The ascent took no prisoners, and several riders were forced to fall back. With 30 km to the finish, V. Nibali attacked, however a few riders were able to follow. Again supported by Davide, Rafal countered and was joined by riders like Roglic and Nibali, while the Italian BORA - hansgrohe rider fell back somewhat. Shortly before cresting the top of the climb, the chasers caught up to the leaders, which was followed by an attack from R. Carapaz, who was able to shake off his rivals.  In the meantime S. Yates and B. Mollema are unable to follow the group of favourites. With 25km to go Rafal made it back into the group of V. Nibali and P. Roglic. In the descent of the Colle San Carlo, R. Carapaz, the sole leader was able to extend his advantage to more than a minute over the chasers.  In the meantime S. Yates was able to catch up to the small group of favourites and eventually surpass them. In the end R. Carapaz secured the stage win after four hours in the saddle. Rafal Majka arrived around 1:50 minutes later in the group of V. Nibali and P. Roglic, taking fourth place. With his performance today he now sits in fourth in the overall classification while his teammate Davide takes 12th place.  

  

Result

01 R. Carapaz           4:02:23

02 S. Yates                     +1:32

03 V. Nibali                    +1:54

04 R. Majka                    +1:54

11 D. Formolo                +3:49

 

From the finish line

“The guys did a great job today, particularly in the way that they brought me to the last climb. I had three teammates with me, with Pawel and Cesare working particularly hard to bring me into a good position before the last climb. In the end, Davide was there to support me and he put in a very strong effort to keep me with the GC contenders for the first 5km of the climb. It was especially important that he did not over pace me, and I’m very happy that he achieved the perfect balance. Today was a crucial stage, and particularly after yesterday’s tough day in the saddle, I am happy with the way the stage went today.”

- Rafal Majka

 

“We had planned for a hectic stage, by virtue of the short length of today’s route, and our goal was to support our GC leader, Rafal Majka, one hundred percent. We achieved this very well, with Rafal having his helpers surrounding him until the decisive climb. Particularly noteworthy is Davide Formolo, who supported Rafal exceptionally on the last climb. In the end, Rafal was able to take fourth place, and demonstrated with that result that he belongs to the best climbers that are in attendance here. Tomorrow could be a day that suits the breakaway, and after that comes the rest day. In the last week of the Giro, anything can happen, both positive and negative, and we need to be prepared for those eventualities but we’re confident that we’ll be able to achieve the goals that we came here with.”

- Christian Poemer, Sports Director

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