Rafał Majka moves up to third overall after strong attack on Tour of the Alps penultimate stage
The penultimate stage of the five-day race, Tour of the Alps, saw another battle in the mountains. Stage 4 took the riders from yesterday’s finish town of Baselga di Piné over 134km, on a demanding course with two categorized climbs and an elevation of 3.000 meters, to Cles.
It took a while until the day’s break of eight riders was able to establish an advantage of three minutes, while the BORA – hansgrohe riders remained in the main bunch. Approaching the final climb of the day, the gap of the eight escapees came down to 53 seconds. BORA – hansgrohe climber Rafał Majka, currently fourth in the overall classification, stayed in a good position in the reduced peloton, and was surrounded by teammate Pawel Poljanski.
The breakaway fell apart on the final climb of the day and the favorites for today’s stage win subsequently launched several attacks. BORA – hansgrohe climber Rafał Majka showed his great form once again, and followed every attack, leading the new breakaway as the race reached the top of the last ascent, and taking the final KOM. On the descent, the Polish rider put in a great effort, riding a strong and smart race.
As the leading quartet headed into the last 10km of today’s stage, their gap hovered at 36 seconds. With 4km remaining, Rafał Majka attacked and was able to distance himself from his opponents. He gave everything and fought until the line, but was caught just 300m before the finish. In a sprint, the BORA – hansgrohe climber crossed the line in third place, which moves him up to third in the general classification, 31 seconds behind the leader.
01 T. Geoghegan Hart 3:26:32
02V. Nibali +0:00
03 R. Majka +0:00
From the Finish Line
“It worked as we had planned. The other teams attacked each other and we benefited from it. Rafał was one of the strongest riders today, and in the finale, we planned that he should try to distance himself, taking advantage of the tailwind. Unfortunately, he was caught with 300m to go but nevertheless it was a strong ride from him and I am super happy that he was once again one of the strongest riders on the ascent. Huge respect for his ride and compliments to the whole team and Rafał for today’s result.” – Christian Pömer, Sports Director
“Well, I am a little bit disappointed with third place after being at the front solo but I gave it a try. My shape is good and I felt I should give it a go today, therefore I went on the attack on the final climb of the day. Once again, huge thanks to Pawel for helping me. I moved up to third in the overall, I think all in all it is a good sign ahead of the upcoming Giro d’Italia.”- Rafał Majka