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"However, Pawel Poljanski did a very good effort at the front and we caught Valverde on the small climb to Ávila. For sure, it will be even harder tomorrow and we must give it one last push before Madrid."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo / BettiniPhoto






11.09.2015 @ 22:09 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Team captain Rafal Majka retains his 4th place overall before the penultimate day of racing at La Vuelta a España. Stage 19 saw Tinkoff-Saxo’s Pavel Brutt featuring in the long breakaway that made it to the finish line. More than 16 minutes behind, the main favorites fired up their engines in the finale with Pawel Poljanski putting in a stalwart effort for his captain.


Friday’s stage to Ávila offered plenty of action in the final part of the race with the key GC contenders deploying their remaining forces in an attempt to boost their position. Losing a few seconds to race leader Dumoulin and Aru on the final kilometer, Rafal Majka finished the stage with the rest of his closest competitors.


“It wasn’t easy on the final part today. We had some crosswind on the descent from the final category two climb towards the finish line and Valverde attacked several times to gain seconds. It meant that the group was dragged out into a long line. We practically finished in the same order as we approached the final uphill section. However, Pawel Poljanski did a very good effort at the front and we caught Valverde on the small climb to Ávila. For sure, it will be even harder tomorrow and we must give it one last push before Madrid”, says Rafal Majka, while teammate Pawel Poljanski adds:


“This morning I wasn’t feeling good and as we passed the team bus on the parcours I really wanted to stop and get inside. But that is absolutely no option and despite the fatigue I want to fight with my last remaining energy for my team and for Rafal. That’s why I’m here and as the stage entered its final part I felt more comfortable on the bike. The effort on the final descent was high and I went to the front to close the gap to Valverde. In the end, Rafal didn’t lose time to Rodriguez, everybody is getting tired and tomorrow will be the last chance to make a difference”, comments Pawel Poljanski.


Stage 19 of 185.8km from Medina del Campo to Ávila featured a gradual cat. 2 climb followed by a fast descent towards the finish line. According to Tinkoff-Saxo sports director Tristan Hoffman, the GC favorites are all starting to feel the accumulated fatigue.


“We’ve done 19 long, warm and mountainous stages and all the favorites are on their limit. It’s inevitable and that’s what happens in a Grand Tour and now we just have to see who comes out on top on tomorrow’s penultimate stage, where we have proper mountains coming up again. Pawel did a very good job today and he will be important for Rafal. Nothing is decided yet, we of course have to find more than a minute on Rodriguez while keeping an eye on Valverde and Quintana behind us in the GC. Rafal was where he had to be today, the time differences were small and we reckon that tomorrow is where it’s possible to make a difference”, comments Tristan Hoffman and adds about Pavel Brutt’s effort in the breakaway:


“Pavel obviously had power in the legs today. He attacked many times but it didn’t turn out to his advantage. However, he tried his best and showed motivation”.



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