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"Everybody has bad days and I think I had mine today. It wasn’t the same legs as two-three days ago but we have many days to go."

Photo: Sirotti

RAFAL MAJKA

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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30.08.2015 @ 21:40 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Rafal Majka took fifth place on stage 9 of Vuelta a España finishing atop a 4km brutal climb with sections around 20 percent under a baking sun. Despite having a tough day, Rafal Majka says that “It wasn’t the same legs as two-three days ago, but still it’s not bad”. While Brutt covered the stage from the break, Majka’s finishing performance moves him into the GC top ten.  

 

With riders still crossing the finish line atop Cumbre del Sol hanging on for dear life after the final steep section, Rafal Majka comments after catching his breath:

 

“Today I didn’t feel so good and I tried to attack in the finale to gain some meters before the finish. But when the climb is this steep, every hundred meters feels very long but still it’s not bad at the end and I finished fifth and move into the top ten in the general classification. We wait for Andorra and the last week, we still have many mountains with longer climbs, which are more different. I’m satisfied with this first week and my teammates have worked for me perfectly”, tells Rafal Majka, who sits 9th in the GC after the stage.

 

“But we have to wait, we also have the long time trial and we have some big favorites here but I’m still there and today I tried. I had an advantage with 700 meters to go but I didn’t believe that I would take the win. I told my teammates that I was suffering a bit today and they worked to position me at the front before the final climb. Everybody has bad days and I think I had mine today. It wasn’t the same legs as two-three days ago but we have many days to go”, adds Majka.

 

Stage 9 from Torrevieja to Cumbre del Sol took the riders 168.3km on mainly flat roads until the final part of the stage, where the riders faced two categorized climbs. Tristan Hoffman, team sports director, notes that he is satisfied with the effort and outcome of the stage, where Pavel Brutt played a part in the main breakaway before Rafal Majka was launched by his teammates on the finishing climb.

 

“This morning was even hotter than the other days and that of course took its toll on the entire field. Brutt was in the breakaway, which was very nice to see. He recovered from yesterday, where he was pulling for 100km and it took some of the workload of our shoulders. The other boys worked for Rafal to support him and position him before the last climb. It was a very, very tough climb, super steep and we had Rafal there with Hansen and Poljanski positioning him”, explains Tristan Hoffman before adding:

 

“Valverde attacked at the bottom, as the main group went into the climb at a blazing speed. Rafal had to close a gap, which put everybody in the red zone and with one kilometer to go we saw and opportunity to go with Rafal. But Froome started pulling hard, and in the end a few riders passed Rafal but he managed to keep his pace. It’s nice to see him compete against the best in the world, and I’m very happy with his effort and willpower although he says that he didn’t have his best day”, concludes Tristan Hoffman adding that stage 11 in Andorra will be the next opportunity for the GC riders to create differences.

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