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“Bennati was in a good position going into the sprint but he didn’t have the speed today to compete for the top positions, so he eased up and the team made sure that Rafal was brought safely to the line."

Photo: Sirotti

DANIELE BENNATI

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NEWS

RAFAL MAJKA

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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04.09.2015 @ 00:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Although no stage provides an optimum opportunity to recover, today’s one got as close as possible, as Vuelta a España left the mountains temporarily to finish in Lleida, where Van Poppel took the win in a bunch sprint. Rafal Majka, Tinkoff-Saxo team leader and currently 4th in the GC, focused on conserving energy ahead of the decisive stages to come.

 

In the wake of, what many have named, the hardest stage ever at La Vuelta, the riders left the Andorran Pyrenees and pushed south into Spain on a day suited for the sprinters. With only one 2nd category climb on the 173km parcours, the Tinkoff-Saxo squad turned its attention towards preserving the legs, tells sports director Tristan Hoffman.

 

“After yesterday’s massive effort, it was important for us that especially Rafal Majka and Pawel Poljanski tried to save as much power as possible. They were both at the front of the race yesterday and the Vuelta is still far away from a conclusion. So the team protected them and we tried to take it as easy as possible during a Grand Tour stage”, comments Tristan Hoffman.


Stage 12 from Escaldes-Engordany to Lleida took the riders 173km from the mountainous Andorra to the flatlands of Catalunya. The early breakaway of the day turned into a pivotal part of the stage with the main bunch not catching the last rider until just before the final sprint, where Danny Van Poppel ultimately took the win.

 

“Bennati was in a good position going into the sprint but he didn’t have the speed today to compete for the top positions, so he eased up and the team made sure that Rafal was brought safely to the line with Brutt finishing just around him. After yesterday’s accident with Paulinho, whom we are obviously going to miss here at the Vuelta, we want to look ahead and keep our full attention on Rafal and the team chances in the GC”, finishes Tristan Hoffman.

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