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“For sure, I’m happy to be 3rd overall. In the beginning we talked about top 5 and now it’s top 3. Surely I don’t fear anybody and I feel stronger but the GC is still very close and it will be very hard."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo / BettiniPhoto

RAFAL MAJKA

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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06.09.2015 @ 22:01 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Rafal Majka looks set to fight for the overall podium of Vuelta a España after finishing 2nd on the sheer wall of Alto de Sotres. On the final steep section, Majka gained time on most of his main rivals following an impressive effort from teammate Poljanski, while Rodriguez took the stage win.

 

Rafal Majka stood atop Alto de Sotres satisfied with his performance that brought him into 3rd place in the general classification.

 

“This was not an easy finale but I think that I can be satisfied with finishing 2nd after Rodriguez. This climb suited me better than yesterday’s and I was able to take time on all of my rivals except Rodriguez. I was suffering a little bit on the first climb but in the end I could feel that I had the power to climb well. I have to thank my teammates, because I didn’t lose so much energy on the flat sections. It was a very hard finish with a fast pace in the beginning of the climb as well, but both Pawel and Jesper was with me all the time and stayed in the group until there were only a few guys left. Pawel pulled at the front for me, I said that I wanted a hard tempo and I think he put a lot of riders in the red zone”, comments Rafal Majka and adds:

 

“Rodriguez was stronger than me. I suffered in the first climb but after I felt ok, thanks to my team mates. I wanted a hard tempo in the last two kilometres and his attack came… it was a strong attack.

 

"Dumoulin stayed strong, he is really dangerous in the time trials and tomorrow is the last stage where he needs to be full gas. It is still a long Vuelta. I came here looking to finish in the top 5 and now somebody told me top 3. I’m afraid of nobody. We will see how tomorrow goes.

 

“For sure, I’m happy to be 3rd overall. In the beginning we talked about top 5 and now it’s top 3. Surely I don’t fear anybody and I feel stronger but the GC is still very close and it will be very hard. In the end, we have to take more time on Dumoulin - he is still strong and dangerous in the time trial. But I think that tomorrow’s stage will be even harder than today’s. The climb in the end will be super crazy and we need to wait and see how my legs are”.

 

Stage 15 from Comillas to Alto de Sotres finished off its 175.8km with a decisive first category summit finish, where especially the final section offered plenty of incline to create a selection. Tristan Hoffman, Tinkoff-Saxo sports director, underlines that he was impressed by the performance of Jesper Hansen and.Pawel Poljanski, who stayed with Majka pulling until the final kilometer.

 

“Today it’s clear that Rafal has the ability to recover very well. His shape has been getting better day by day and we can be very satisfied with the outcome of the stage. I really think that the team, as a group, did a fantastic work today. The guys kept Rafal in a good position during the first part of the stage and Poljanski and Hansen stayed with him until the end. In case that Rafal had suffered a puncture or mechanical it would have been a lifesaver. Pawel even had the energy to lead the very select front group and he set a hard tempo for Rafal to make it more difficult for riders like Rodriguez, who we suspected would attack”, says Tristan Hoffman, who turns his attention to the steepest climb of Vuelta a España 2015 coming up on stage 16.

 

“The top 5 is very close and nothing is decided at all. Tomorrow will be brutal with the last climb and I think that the time differences will be more extensive what we saw today. We will have to wait and see how the other teams play their cards and then we hope that Rafal has the same legs tomorrow. So far, he has been stable and strong and we will off course go all in for Rafal again tomorrow”, finishes Hoffman.

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