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“For sure, this will be a very important stage for me. We want to improve my position in the general classification but there is no easy way of doing this."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo / BettiniPhoto








31.08.2015 @ 22:55 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With the conclusion of stage 10 of Vuelta a España, Tinkoff-Saxo heads into the rest day with the mountains of the coming week in mind. Especially stage 11 in Andorra attracts attention, as the team looks to further the position of team captain Rafal Majka. Monday’s stage to Castellòn was decided in a reduced bunch sprint with Kristian Sbaragli claiming the win, while Rafal Majka finished safely.


Tinkoff-Saxo’s Daniele Bennati finished 16th on stage 10 as the best placed rider of the team. Tristan Hoffman, sports director, notes after the finish that Bennati lost positions going into the final sprint.


“At the end of the stage, with Rafal safely placed in the bunch, we decided to go for a good result with Daniele. He was very well placed with 500 meters to go, but in a sweeping movement, a big chunk of riders came on the outside and Daniele was boxed in. We missed the breakaway at the start of the stage, but our boys carried out our main objective very well, which was to protect Rafal and save as much energy as possible”, says Tristan Hoffman before adding:

“We now face a day of rest. We will go for a light training session to keep the legs going but we’ve had a very hot and hard start, while we face some very decisive days, so this rest day is much appreciated. As we have said, stage 11 is on paper one of the toughest mountain stages in years, and our attention is directed towards this big challenge that will be really important for our and Rafal’s position in the general classification”.


"Finally the first day with a good feeling after ard week with falls and healing wounds. Disappointed for the sprint, we missed you @petosagan! But congrats to @Kri_s90, a young Tuscan guy," Bennati tweeted after the stage.


Stage 10 from Valencia to Castellòn took the riders 146.6km with a category 2 climb in the last part of the stage presenting the biggest obstacle of the day. With Rafal Majka positioned at the front of the field, a series of fast accelerations decimated the peloton, before Sbaragli claimed the win some 16km later. For Rafal Majka, the rest day will be about maintaining his rhythm before the much anticipated mountain stage in Andorra.


“For sure, this will be a very important stage for me. We want to improve my position in the general classification but there is no easy way of doing this. With five very hard and steep climbs you can lose a lot of time if you have a bad day. The stage is just after the rest day, so I have to keep the rhythm and my legs spinning tomorrow and try to rest as much as possible at the same time. It has been a hot and hard Vuelta so far, today I felt okay and we will try our best on Wednesday”, tells Rafal Majka, while teammate and climber Jesper Hansen adds:


“For me it has been a tough start to the Vuelta a España, I think that I’ve been there to help my team in some of the important moments, which is very important to me. But it’s not a secret that I look forward to the rest day and probably some colder temperatures after many days of heat here in Southern Spain. It’s very motivating to ride for Rafal, today was not my terrain, as the stage was mainly flat so I wasn’t there in the finale and it’s also important that I try to conserve my energy for when it matters the most”, finishes Jesper Hansen.



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