Home News Rafal Majka claims stage two at the Tour of California

Rafal Majka claims stage two at the Tour of California

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Rafal Majka

Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) has won the second stage of the Amgen Tour Of California and taken over the lead of the American race.

Only George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) could follow Majka in the final 200 meters. Bennett finished second by a wheel. Team Sky’s American Ian Boswell out-sprinted Dimension Data’s Lachlan Morton for third.

Today’s stage was a 144.5km stage from Modesto to San Jose and had Marcel Kittel in the lead following his win in the opening stage in Sacremento.

Tackling five categorised climbs over the 144.5km route, including the race’s first Hors Catégorie climb, the 8.7% Mount Hamilton, there would be little chance to rest after the road started pointing upwards. While the sprinters ruled yesterday’s stage, it would be the climbers and GC contenders who would fight it out for the top spot on the podium today, with an uphill finish deciding who would take the stage – and the GC with it.

With the climbs of the day weighing heavily on the riders’ minds, it took some time for a group to build up the nerve to make the jump ahead. There was every chance the break could hold an advantage to the end of the stage, so picking the perfect time to escape was absolutely pivotal, and it wasn’t until almost 50km had passed before the attack came. Six riders made their way up the road before gradually piling on the time – the advantage quickly rising to four minutes. Controlling the pace in the peloton, the Bora-hansgrohe riders were working to keep the break in check, as Rafał Majka kept an eye on his rivals both up the road and in the peloton. The pace rising steadily in the peloton, the break struggled as the gradient took its toll.

As the gap reduced, Majka saw his chance, joining a small attack from the front of the peloton to try and bridge the gap. Every time the Polish rider pushed, his chasing group struggled to stay in touch, and with 34km remaining, contact was made. However, the Bora-hansgrohe climber wasn’t happy just to make the bridge, as he powered away shortly afterwards to take the points at the Quimby Road summit. Holding their advantage on the short flat spot before the climb to the finish, there was every chance the stage winner – and the new GC leader – would be among Majka’s group of four. As his companions tried time and again to outwit him, Majka responded quickly, shutting down every attempt before finally surging ahead to take the victory and the GC lead.

“I felt really strong today. We all worked together well and I knew we were in the right move because we were all strong guys. In the end I didn’t want to miss the sprint, so I went early, but was strong enough to stay in front. This is my first win for Bora-hansgrohe, which is really special to me, and I dedicate it to my daughter, who was born three months ago. Thanks also to my team mates – we have a great spirit and always work together well.”


Tour of California 2017 – stage 2 results (Modesto – San Jose):

1Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

3:43:46

2George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo)

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3Ian Boswell (Team Sky)

+07”

4Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data)

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5Robert Gesink (LottoNl-Jumbo)

+37”

6Brent Bookwalter (BMC)

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7Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky)

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8Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb)

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9Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors)

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10Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac)

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General classification after stage 2:

1Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

7:29:14

2George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo)

+02”

3Ian Boswell (Team Sky)

+14”

4Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data)

+16”

5Robert Gesink (LottoNl-Jumbo)

+48”

6Brent Bookwalter (BMC)

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7Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb)

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8Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac)

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9Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors)

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10Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates)

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