Majka loses some time in Vuelta a San Juan's queen stage to hang on 5th place in the general classification.
When an early break of nine riders was caught already on the foot of the final climb, a brutal, almost 40-kilometer-long uphill stretch, had to decide this year’s queen stage of the Vuelta a San Juan. After a punishing ride, BORA – hansgrohe’s Rafal Majka finished just outside the top ten today, to secure a 5th place in the general classification.
After the time trial last Tuesday was a first test for the GC contenders in the race, today was for sure the day of truth. The queen stage of the Vuelta a San Juan, with non-less than 40k of climbing up to the finish on the Alto de Colorado in 2565m, started in San Martin and covered 169.5 kilometers in total. It was a parkour that just the best climbers could take advantage of.
The Team Tactics
With Rafal Majka sitting in second overall, BORA – hansgrohe had one of the big favorites of the day in its rows, and there was no doubt that the whole team would support Rafa’s ambitions with absolute everything. While the first goal was to control the race from the beginning, Pawel Poljanksi was the one that hopefully still would be on Rafa’s side on the final climb. But anyway, today the legs had to decide the race.
Early in the race a group of nine riders went clear from the bunch to be at the head of the race for most of the day. BORA – hansgrohe worked in the peloton for their leader Rafal Majka, who went into the stage laying in 2nd place overall. The efforts payed off, when the breakaway was already caught at the foot of the Alto de Colorado. But when G. Naja launched his attack, nobody was able to stay in his wheel. Also Rafal Majka struggled today. Fighting hard for a good result in the GC, the polish climber gave it everything to limit his losses. In the end he finished the day in 12th place, which puts him now in 5th place overall.
01 G. Najar 4:16:26
02 O. Sevilla + 1:58
03 R. Torres + 2:05
12 R. Majka + 3:07
From the Finish Line
“Today was a true queen stage. The final climb was brutal. We hoped that Rafa (Majka) could fight for the win today, therefore we worked again in the peloton like we already did on the last days. In the end he didn’t have the legs. But this early in the season it is really hard to perform well on a very long climb like the Alto de Colorado. It was important that he kept on fighting and could hang on a first bigger chasing group. Now he is in 5th place in the GC which is still a good result.” - Enrico Poitschke, sports director