• Tour de France

Majka takes maiden Tour stage

ESPN staff
July 19, 2014
Rafal Majka won in 5h08'27 © Getty Images

Tinkoff-Saxo rider Rafal Majka secured his maiden Tour de France stage win in his debut race while Vincenzo Nibali tightened his grip on the yellow jersey.

With three mountain ascents and a summit finish, Majka conquered the 177km 14th stage from Grenoble to Risoul, which saw the peloton pass the highest point on the race on a second day of brutal Alpine climbs.

It was sweet revenge for Majka, who had to settle for second place on Friday after Nibali pipped him to victory by 10 seconds in Friday's 13th stage.

"I am really very happy," Majka, who was sixth in the Giro d'Italia this year, said. "I am a little tired, but I had a calm first week to help Alberto [Contador]. It broke my heart to see him leave."

"We lost Alberto, we had to win," team owner Oleg Tinkov said through a translator on French TV. "Rafal is a marvelous young rider. We will come back to try to win the Tour one day."

Majka joined a group of 17 escapees early on and this time he was able to hold on all the way to the finish line for victory.

Nibali (Astana) stayed clear of Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud to claim second place and comfortably retained the yellow jersey as he crossed the finishing line 24 seconds behind Majka.

Having gained time on Richie Porte yesterday, Nibali gained more crucial seconds on Alejandro Valverde and now leads by more than four minutes in the general classification standings.

Movistar rider Valverde did just enough to stay second, behind Nibali and ahead of Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale). The Frenchman retained the young rider's white jersey from compatriot Thibaut Pinot - though Pinot edged him in a sprint finish to take fourth place on the day.

Porte, of Team Sky, struggled again and finished in 27th place, 5'16" behind stage winner Majka.

Vincenzo Nibali retained the the overall leader's yellow jersey © Getty Images
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