Saturday September 2nd, 2017

Stage 14Écija / Sierra de La Pandera

Start 12h57 (Local time)

Majka climbs back on top at La Pandera

Stage summary02.09.2017Stage 14- Écija / Sierra de La Pandera

After crashing out of the Tour and losing his GC ambitions due to illness on La Vuelta 2017, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) proved on Saturday his aggressive racing could still earn him major victories. The Polish climber made the break at the start of stage 14 and was the only attacker to hold off the favorites on the climb up Sierra de la Pandera. Third behind Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) gains 4 seconds on Chris Froome (Team Sky). Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) is third overall as Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) lost 25 more seconds. Majka brings Poland a third stage victory at La Vuelta 2017, the fourth in the whole history of the race.

With Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale) withdrawing due to illness, 172 riders tackled stage 14 of La Vuelta 2017 from Ecija. A 25km battle saw 10 of them make the breakaway: Rafal Majka, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Simon Clarke, Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Soudal), Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis), Stefan Denifl (Aqua Blue Sport) and Ricardo Vilela (Manzana Postobon). They enjoyed a maximum gap of 7'40” with 90km to go.

Bahrain-Merida, Astana and Trek-Segafredo upped the tempo in the peloton in the second half of the stage. The gap was down to 4' with 40km to go, heading to the main challenges of the day. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) lost a precious teammate as Sam Oomen, who was 13th on GC, abandoned because of sickness.

The climbs around Valdepeñas de Jaen brought the leading group down to four riders ahead of La Sierra de la Pandera: Majka, Konrad, Costa and De Clercq. The Polish climber, 3rd of La Vuelta 2015, accelerated with 10km to go. His lead over the favorites group was down to 1'15”. Enough for him to make it to the finish despite the hard battle raging behind him.

Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) was the first GC contender to attack, 5km away from the summit. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) immediately followed him while Chris Froome (Team Sky) enjoyed the pacing of Wouter Poels. When Froome decided to react, with 3km to go, Chaves couldn't hold on. He eventually lost 26 seconds while Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) displayed once again his talent with a strong move in the final 2km, only to finish 27 seconds behind Majka.

  • Majka climbs back on top at La Pandera

    After crashing out of the Tour and losing his GC ambitions due to illness on La Vuelta 2017, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) proved on Saturday his aggressive racing could still earn him major victories. The Polish climber made the break at the start of stage 14 and was the only attacker to hold off the favorites on the climb up Sierra de la Pandera. Third behind Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) gains 4 seconds on Chris Froome (Team Sky). Wilco Kelderman (Team...

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