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Rafal Majka wins stage 14 on La Pandera as Chris Froome retains Vuelta lead

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Rafal Majka vuelta 2017 stage 14

Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) held off the GC favourites to win stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana atop Sierra de la Pandera, the first especial-rated climb in this edition.

Majka arrived to the finish line with an advantage of 27 seconds over Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana).

“I’m just so happy, not because I won but for my teammates. They trusted in me and did a great job,” said the Polish rider.

“I was very confident. I had good legs, and Patrick Konrad did a really good job with me in the break. Then I knew at 10 k to go that I needed to go at full gas.”

Wilco Kelderman and Ilnur Zakarin finished alongside Nibali and Froome to move up to third and fourth respectively overall as Esteban Chaves lost time to slip down to fifth.

Fabio Aru, winner of the Vuelta in 2015, also lost a further 32 seconds on Froome to fall over three minutes back on the Briton in sixth.

Majka’s chances in the general classification were undone by illness in the first week, which nearly forced the Bora–Hansgrohe rider to abandon the race. But he showed great stamina and climbing power to stay away from a stellar cast of chasers for his first Vuelta stage win.

More brutal climbs await in Sunday’s short and steep 129km stage from Alcala la Real to Sierra Nevada with another special category climb to the finish at 2,500m altitude.

“At the end of a really hard week it’s going to be one of the most decisive stages of this year’s Vuelta,” added Froome.

“It’s at high altitude, it is a key stage in my mind, so it was important to keep something in reserve for tomorrow.”

Vuelta a Espana 2017 – stage 14 results (Écija – Sierra de La Pandera):

1Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

4:42:10

2Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+27”

3Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida)

+31”

4Chris Froome (Team Sky)

,,

5Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)

,,

6Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)

,,

7Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)

+37”

8Wout Poels (Team Sky)

+46”

9Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott)

+57”

10Fabio Aru (Astana)

+01’03”

11Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac)

+01’13”

12Pello Bilbao (Astana)

+01’19”

13Romain Bardet (AG2R)

,,

14Richard Carapaz (Movistar)

,,

15David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors)

,,

16Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)

,,

17Tejay Van Garderen (BMC)

+01’43”

18Daniel Moreno (Movistar)

+01’49”

19Nicolas Roche (BMC)

+02’15”

20Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)

+03’01”

 

General classification after stage 14:

1Chris Froome (Team Sky)

58:30:47

2Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida)

+55”

3Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)

+02’17”

4Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)

+02’25”

5Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott)

+02’39”

6Fabio Aru (Astana)

+03’09”

7David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors)

+03’11”

8Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)

+03’19”

9Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac)

+03’23”

10Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+03’48”

11Wout Poels (Team Sky)

+05’16”

12Tejay Van Garderen (BMC)

+05’44”

13Nicolas Roche (BMC)

+06’09”

14Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)

+06’38”

15Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates)

+08’56”

16Sergio Padilla (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)

+12’46”

17Mikel Nieve (Team Sky)

+15’49”

18Igor Anton (Dimension Data)

+22’27”

19Daniel Moreno (Movistar)

+24’52”

20Romain Bardet (AG2R)

+30’05”

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