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“It was a very important way to finish the season”, Rafael Majka tells CyclingQuotes.com and Feltet.dk, when we caught up with him on the Canary Islands.

Photo: Feltet.dk
21.01.2013 @ 13:56 Posted by Kenneth Meyer & Jakob Lloreda

Team Saxo-Tinkoffs young Polish ace Rafal Majka is feeling confident before the start of his 2013 campaign scheduled to kick off in early February. Especially Giro d’Italia ignites sparks in the eyes of the promising Polish talent.


When Bjarne Riis presented his 2012 line-up at Team Saxo Banks main office in downtown Copenhagen, he also announced that in Rafal Majka he possessed a raw talent who was set to lead the team’s quest for success in the Giro d’Italia. He echoed talk about a possible GC-candidate with the potential to place himself among the ten best riders in the race. Unfortunately, we never got to see young Rafael Majka’s qualities in the Italian race as a crash in the early spring effectively put a stop to all ambitions. He was sidelined for several months as a consequence.


Rafael Majka was down, but not out. And during the Vuelta a Espana he showed several glimpses of his enormous potential and confirmed that team boss Riis’s words from the presentation were, in fact, spot on. One mountain-stage after another it was Rafael Majka who shredded the peloton to bits and prepared the terrain perfectly for team-captain Alberto Contador. An absolutely stunning performance which also left positive marks on the confidence of the up-and-coming prospect.


“It was a very important way to finish the season”, Rafael Majka tells CyclingQuotes.com and Feltet.dk, when we caught up with him on the Canary Islands.

“You have to remember I was out with a knee-injury for over two months where I couldn’t ride nor train.  After my operation I had some time to recuperate and slowly start building my form towards the Vuelta.”


“It was only my second grand-tour experience, and I am also still only 23 years of age, so to be right next to Alberto on some of the hardest mountains in the race was an incredible experience and a moral boost for me. Sometimes when I looked back after a really hard pull, it was so encouraging to see that there were only five or six guys left, it truly felt amazing. It shows I am on the right path in my development.”

 

“I still need to pack on a little muscle after my injury.”

Despite no longer having pain in his right knee, Rafael Majka still has some work to do before he is back to his pre-injury level. 


“If we are talking pure mass I still miss a little bit of muscle in my right leg. The only way it can come back is through some rally hard and intense training. I am confident though, I still feel I have increased my level since last season and find myself in an even better position to preform than the years prior. 2 days ago we did a mountain-test and my good sensations where confirmed. I went really well! I am really confident I can put my mark on this year’s edition of Giro d’Italia.”


“I have studied this year’s course and it’s really hard. There are a lot of hills and some pretty grueling accents as well, which should suit my characteristics perfectly. Many riders are already talking about how they would like to win a stage or finish in the top-10. I would like to do both. I am very ambitious.”

 

Training camps and season debut right ahead.

Before the Giro kicks off in May, Rafael Majka will be busy attending the annual training camps on the Canary Islands and Corsica. His first race of the season is set to be the Tour of Mediterranean followed by Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta a Catalunya. Then awaits yet another training camp this time at altitude, before turning his focus towards the Tour de Romandie and finally the Giro which will be his objective numero uno.


So far, Rafal Majka has not talked to Bjarne Riis about his program for the second part of the season.


“What we are focusing on at the moment is the Giro. If I am not hampered by sickness or injury I know I will arrive there in absolute top form, then it’s up to me to perform accordingly. “

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