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"I did my best, it’s not easy on the flat. I tried everything. Everybody is tired, I did everything to get the best result but it’s hard against the specialists like Dumoulin."

Photo: Sirotti






09.09.2015 @ 22:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Maciej Bodnar put in a strong effort leading the 38.7km ITT at La Vuelta for most of the day but ultimately slipped to 2nd place behind stage winner Tom Dumoulin. Captain Rafal Majka sits 4th in the GC, while sports director Tristan Hoffman underlines that the podium is still a clear goal.


After stage 17 of Vuelta a España, runner-up on the stage Maciej Bodnar comments:


“It is, obviously, never easy to accept second place but today Dumoulin was clearly the strongest rider. He has put on a very strong performance so far in the Vuelta and in that sense it is good to be beaten only by him. It is a pity though I spent most of the day on the organizers 'hot seat', waiting for the final result and at the end I was beaten by one of the last riders to start. I would like to thank the entire team because they believed in me for the time-trial since the very start of the Vuelta. We have worked on that a lot during the season and, hopefully, that will pay its dividend with a victory in the future”, says Bodnar, who finished 1’04” down on stage winner and new race leader Tom Dumoulin.


“Before I was working for Peter (Sagan) and for Rafal (Majka) so today was a good opportunity for me, I tried to do my best. The wind was strong in the first part already and also in the finale.


“I would also like to give special thanks to my coach and sport director, Patxi Vila. We have a very good working relationship and today, he was in the car behind me. It was the first time-trial we did together and the result was very good. This was a very good race and I am sure I will keep improving. It was the first race in which I wasn’t stressed but still focused. I was following my watts and I was consistent in my effort throughout the race without wasting any energy in the first part. That's why I was able to push even harder in the second half of the race and build an advantage over my opponents”, adds Maciej Bodnar. 



Rafal Majka took 17th on the ITT in Burgos – neither bad nor really good, says the team captain:


“I’m not unhappy about this time trial. I lost my 3rd place to Dumoulin, but he is a time trial specialist and the gap was not big before the stage. It wasn’t easy but I did my best. It’s difficult to compete against Dumoulin’s high speed on the flat sections for a rider like me. But I gave it all I had. I wasn’t super comfortable today, it’s the third week of the Vuelta and the fatigue is coming. Now we have three important stages and we will see how the situation is in Madrid”, explains Rafal Majka.


"I did my best, it’s not easy on the flat. I tried everything. Everybody is tired, I did everything to get the best result but it’s hard against the specialists like Dumoulin."


For Tinkoff-Saxo’s sports director Tristan Hoffman, the outcome of the stage was accompanied with mixed feelings.


“We are of course very proud of Maciej Bodnar and his performance. Although second places are never fun, he did a very good time trial but we just have to acknowledge that Dumoulin was superior today. Maciej set the best time very early and waited for a long time in the hot seat. Then it’s naturally a disappointment, when you have to forfeit the top spot after building up all that tension. He approached the time trial in a smart way controlling the pace on the first kilometers and then building up the intensity and pace”, tells Tristan Hoffman and adds:



“Rafal Majka did a fairly good time trial today, but it wasn’t the best he has done. He was 17th and took some time on Rodriguez, while he lost time to Dumoulin, which we had counted on. We knew that Dumoulin would pass him in the GC and then it was just a question of whether he would take time on Aru for instance. In the end, Movistar got a very good result, which means that the top GC fight will be close and very exciting during the next days”


Tristan Hoffman underlines that the team will continue to aim for the podium during the coming stages.


“We have confidence in Rafal and the team and we will go out there and try. Movistar, Astana, Katusha will all put on the pressure and we have to be a part of that. Then we will see, who comes out on top. For us, it’s more important that we try out for the podium than playing safe for 4th place overall. If you finish 4th or 7th doesn’t matter that much, what matters is that we can finish the race in Madrid knowing that we did everything we could to get on the podium with Rafal”, underlines Tristan Hoffman ahead of the mountainous stage 18.



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