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"It has been an important experience to be the captain of a team with big ambitions and a lot of responsibility comes along with this role. I hope that someday I will be able to win a Grand Tour."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo / BettiniPhoto




14.09.2015 @ 01:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After hammering towards the finish line on the decisive stage 20, Rafal Majka sealed the deal in Madrid to crest the podium as 3rd in La Vuelta a España 2015. 
It took a strong leader and a resolute team effort to reach the podium of one of the toughest editions of Vuelta a España in recent years. Rafal Majka was not late to thank his teammates after crossing the final finish line.
“This is a very big day. To reach the podium of a Grand Tour is something that I’ve always been dreaming about. I want to dedicate this podium to my teammates, they have helped me since the start in Marbella and I honestly wouldn’t be here without them. It is an honor for me to achieve this result for my team, it hasn’t been easy and we had ups and downs during the race. We lost Peter and Sergio and that didn’t make it easier. But finally, we are here and this spot on the podium is really for all my teammates”, says an elated Rafal Majka.
“We were all the time at the front and we tried on all mountain stages to make a difference. It has been an important experience to be the captain of a team with big ambitions and a lot of responsibility comes along with this role. I hope that someday I will be able to win a Grand Tour. I will try in the big races next year, it might not happen then but in the future I will try to win. We will have to be patient, go through the schedule thoroughly and not least prepare intensively before we set any realistic goals”, explains Rafal Majka and adds:
“I only missed out on 2nd place by 12 seconds, but Purito was strong throughout the Vuelta, so I think that he deserved the spot. I came here after a very hard Tour de France and I wasn’t as fresh as I wanted to be but my shape progressed and I was better in the second half of the race. The ITT was a difficult moment and I didn’t perform at my top level, but as I said, the Vuelta was not over after the time trial”


“For me and my team this is a great Vuelta, we really did a very good job. I’m very happy. This is my dream. I have finished third in the Vuelta. The staff is also very happy. I need to learn, I’m only 26 years old. I will try to fight in the future. Maybe in the future I will try to win”.

Stage 21 to Madrid was concluded in a bunch sprint, where John Degenkolb took the stage win after a blazing finale. Rafal Majka finished safely to claim the podium place – a hard fought result according to team sports director Tristan Hoffman:
“I’m very happy with these guys. We’ve really showed strong unity and I want to pay my respect to all nine riders that started this Vuelta. Unfortunately, Sagan and Paulinho were taken out by motorcycles but we managed to pull through and come out on top even though it’s considerably harder with only 7 riders. We came here to win a stage and finish in the GC top five only hoping for the podium. We got the stage win with Peter and Rafal made his way onto the podium thanks to a persistent effort from the team and not least from him. The team didn’t stop believing for a single second. We were on the podium before the ITT, then there was a moment of disappointment but yesterday Rafal found the spirit and the legs to make the difference”, comments Tristan Hoffman.



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