Rafał Majka

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Rafał Majka
2022 Tour of Slovenia (Stage 3 podium, Rafał Majka in Red jersey; points classification).jpg
Personal information
Full nameRafał Majka
Born (1989-09-12) 12 September 1989 (age 33)
Zegartowice, Poland
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight58 kg (128 lb; 9 st 2 lb)
Team information
Current teamUAE Team Emirates
Rider typeClimbing specialist
Amateur teams
2008–2009Gragnano S.C.
2009Miche–Silver Cross–Selle Italia
2010Petroli Firenze
Professional teams
2011–2016Saxo Bank–SunGard[1]
2021–UAE Team Emirates
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
Mountains classification (2014, 2016)
3 individual stages (2014, 2015)
Vuelta a España
2 individual stages (2017, 2021)

Stage races

Tour de Pologne (2014)
Tour of Slovenia (2017)

One-day races and Classics

National Road Race Championships (2016)

Rafał Majka (Polish pronunciation: [ˈrafaw ˈmajka]; born 12 September 1989) is a Polish professional road bicycle racer, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam UAE Team Emirates.[4][5] He is known as a strong climber, and rose to prominence at the 2013 Giro d'Italia, where he finished 7th overall, and 6th one year later. Other major achievements are three mountainous stage wins in the Tour de France as well as the Mountains classification in the 2014 and 2016 edition, two stages and the overall victory at the 2014 Tour de Pologne. He achieved his only Grand Tour podium finish at the 2015 Vuelta a España, where he finished third. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, he won a bronze medal for Poland in the road race.



In 2013, he competed in the Giro d'Italia for the first time, where he had a long battle with Carlos Betancur over the lead in the young rider classification, which eventually fell to Betancur in the penultimate stage. In the general classification, he ended up seventh, eight minutes behind winner Vincenzo Nibali.


Majka in the polka-dot jersey, as leader of the mountains classification, at the 2014 Tour de France

A year later, he improved on his Giro d'Italia result from 2013 by finishing sixth overall.

Majka was a last-minute inclusion in Tinkoff–Saxo's 2014 Tour de France squad, after Roman Kreuziger was temporarily suspended from racing due to irregular biological passport values. On Stage 14, he earned his first professional victory after going solo on the final climb to Risoul.[6] Four days later he claimed another victory on Stage 17, soloing to the mountaintop finish atop Pla d'Adet.[7] These successes, as well as some other strong performances in mountain stages, earned Majka the polka dot jersey as winner of the mountains classification, becoming the first Polish rider to win a jersey in the Tour de France. A couple of weeks after the Tour de France he won stages five and six of the 2014 Tour de Pologne as well as the general classification.[8] Majka was the first Polish rider to win the Tour de Pologne since it became part of the UCI World Tour.


In contrast to the previous two years, Majka did not ride the Giro d'Italia in 2015 where Alberto Contador made the first step in trying to do a Giro–Tour double but started in the Tour de France. He achieved top ten finishes at the Tour of Oman, the Tour de Romandie and the Tour de Suisse in preparation for the Tour. Majka won the 11th stage of the Tour de France to Cauterets from a breakaway to take his third Tour stage victory. Majka then prepared to race his season target, the Vuelta a España, attempting to gain a top 5 or podium finish in the general classification. He performed well throughout the entire race, being able to stay at the top of the general classification with Nairo Quintana and Fabio Aru. On the penultimate stage, stage 20, Majka managed to advance himself from fourth place to third place, finishing the Vuelta in third, achieving his goal of being on the podium of a Grand Tour.


Majka at the 2016 Tour de France

At the Giro d'Italia, Majka raced as the leader of the Tinkoff team and finished fifth overall, four minutes behind winner Vincenzo Nibali, his best result in that race.[9] Following the Giro, Majka won the Polish National Road Race Championships for the first time in his career, breaking away at the front over the last climb and holding his advantage to the finish line.[10] During the Tour de France, team leader Contador dropped out, leaving Majka as one of his team's chances for success. Through multiple breakaways, he was able to repeat his 2014 accomplishment and win the mountains classification, albeit falling short of a stage win.[11]

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Majka finished third in the individual road race to win the bronze medal. He was part of a late breakaway group also containing Nibali and Sergio Henao. On the final descent, both Nibali and Henao crashed, leaving Majka alone in front, unable to preserve his advantage over the chase group to the finish. He was caught by eventual winner Greg Van Avermaet and Jakob Fuglsang within two kilometres of the finish line and did not participate in the final sprint, settling for third.[12] Majka's medal was the first for Poland at the Rio Olympics, and the first medal won by a Polish cyclist in an individual event since Czesław Lang's silver at the 1980 Summer Olympics.[13] Subsequently, in August 2016 Bora–Hansgrohe announced that Majka had agreed an initial two-year deal with the team from 2017, following Tinkoff teammate Peter Sagan to the squad with a role as a team leader in Grand Tours and other stage races.[14]


In 2017 his most important results included a stage win and 2nd place overall in the Tour of California.[15][16] He won the general and mountains classifications at the Tour of Slovenia,[17] as well as winning the third stage.[18] He also placed 2nd in the Tour de Pologne and won the award for the highest placed Polish rider.[19] Late in the season Majka earned his first career stage win at the Vuelta a España when he won stage 14 – a high mountain stage – by holding off general classification favourites Miguel Ángel López, Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome by about thirty seconds.[20]


Majka was selected for the 2022 Tour de France. He did not take the start of the 17th stage due to a laceration of his muscle, caused by his chain snapping the previous stage.[21]

Personal life[edit]

On 18 October 2014 he married Magdalena Kowal in a private ceremony in Wiśniowa.[22] In February 2017 their first child, a daughter was born.

Major results[edit]

1st Trofeo Enzo Sacchi
3rd GP Città di Monsummano
1st Firenze–Viareggio
3rd Bologna–Raticosa
8th GP Capodarco
2nd GP Chianti Colline d'Elsa
3rd Overall Giro delle Pesche Nettarine
3rd Bologna–Raticosa
3rd Trofeo Città di Lastra a Signa
9th Gran Premio Palio del Recioto
9th Firenze–Viareggio
10th Overall Carpathian Couriers Race
1st Stage 1
10th Trofeo Matteotti
3rd Japan Cup
7th Overall Tour of Beijing
1st Jersey white.svg Young rider classification
2nd Milano–Torino
3rd Giro di Lombardia
4th Overall Tour de Pologne
1st Jersey white.svg Points classification
7th Overall Giro d'Italia
Held Jersey white.svg after Stages 7, 10–14, 18–19
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Tour de Pologne
1st Stages 5 & 6
Tour de France
1st Jersey polkadot.svg Mountains classification
1st Stages 14 & 17
4th Overall USA Pro Cycling Challenge
4th Overall Critérium International
1st Jersey white.svg Young rider classification
6th Overall Giro d'Italia
Held Jersey white.svg after Stages 8–15
1st Stage 11 Tour de France
2nd Milano–Torino
3rd Overall Vuelta a España
4th Overall Tour of Oman
7th Overall Tour de Romandie
10th Overall Tour de Suisse
1st MaillotPolonia.PNG Road race, National Road Championships
Tour de France
1st Jersey polkadot.svg Mountains classification
Jersey red number.svg Combativity award Stage 15
3rd Bronze medal olympic.svg Road race, Olympic Games
5th Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
5th Overall Giro d'Italia
7th Overall Tour de San Luis
1st Jersey green 2.svg Overall Tour of Slovenia
1st Jersey blue.svg Mountains classification
1st Stage 3
1st Stage 14 Vuelta a España
2nd Overall Tour of California
1st Stage 2
2nd Overall Tour de Pologne
1st Jersey red.svg Polish rider classification
6th Overall Abu Dhabi Tour
7th Trofeo Pollenca-Port de Andratx
10th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
5th Overall Abu Dhabi Tour
5th Overall Vuelta a San Juan
6th Overall Tour of California
6th Overall Tour of Slovenia
7th Giro di Lombardia
Jersey red number.svg Combativity award Stage 15 Tour de France
6th Overall Giro d'Italia
6th Overall Vuelta a España
6th Overall Tour of the Alps
7th Overall Volta a Catalunya
9th Overall Tour de Pologne
1st Jersey red.svg Polish rider classification
10th Trofeo Campos, Porreres, Felanitx, Ses Salines
3rd Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
4th Overall Tour de Pologne
1st Jersey red.svg Polish rider classification
5th Overall UAE Tour
Vuelta a España
1st Stage 15
Jersey yellow number.svg Combativity award Stage 15
4th Overall Tour of Slovenia
2nd Overall Tour of Slovenia
1st Jersey blue.svg Mountains classification
1st Stages 1 & 4
7th Overall UAE Tour

General classification results timeline[edit]

Grand Tour general classification results
Grand Tour 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Jersey pink.svg Giro d'Italia 7 6 5 6 12
Jersey yellow.svg Tour de France 44 28 27 DNF 19 34 DNF
Jersey red.svg Vuelta a España DNF 32 19 3 39 13 6 21
Major stage race general classification results
Stage races 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Jersey yellow.svg Paris–Nice 31 68 21
Jersey blue.svg Tirreno–Adriatico 73 24 37 52 3 57 25
MaillotVolta.png Volta a Catalunya DNF 82 DNF 11 7 NH
Jersey yellow.svg Tour of the Basque Country 15 39 35
Jersey yellow.svg/Jersey green.svg Tour de Romandie 47 DNF 13 7 DNF
Jersey yellow-bluebar.svg Critérium du Dauphiné 34
Jersey yellow.svg Tour de Suisse 10 NH

Monuments results timeline[edit]

Monument 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Milan–San Remo Has not contested during his career
Tour of Flanders
Liège–Bastogne–Liège DNF 33 113 10 57
Giro di Lombardia 26 DNF 3 69 DNF 26 7 12 24 24
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish
NH Not held


  1. ^ Stokes, Shane (13 September 2012). "Majka renews contract with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank". VeloNation. VeloNation LLC. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  2. ^ "With Christoph Pfingsten, BORA – hansgrohe completes its roster for 2019". Bora–Hansgrohe. Denk Pro Cycling GmbH & Co. KG. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  3. ^ Ryan, Barry (28 December 2019). "2020 Team Preview: Bora-Hansgrohe". Cyclingnews.com. Future plc. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  4. ^ "UAE Team Emirates". UCI.org. Union Cycliste Internationale. Archived from the original on 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  5. ^ Fletcher, Patrick (18 October 2020). "Majka joins UAE Team Emirates as 'wing-man' for Pogacar". Cyclingnews.com. Future plc. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Tour de France: Majka wins in Risoul". Cyclingnews.com. 19 July 2014. Archived from the original on 20 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Tour de France: Majka victorious on Pla d'Adet". Cyclingnews.com. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Majka crowned Tour of Poland winner as Vandewalle wins stage 7 time trial". VeloNews. Competitor Group, Inc. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Rafal Majka ends successful Giro d'Italia campaign with top 5 GC finish in Turin, as Jay McCarthy takes 9th on stage". Tinkoff Team. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Tinkoff Teamwork against all odds carries Rafal Majka to Polish national championship victory". Tinkoff Team. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  11. ^ O'Shea, Sadhbh (24 July 2016). "Tour de France: Sagan and Majka save Tinkoff". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016, men's cycling road race: Greg Van Avermaet wins gold after crash ends Geraint Thomas and Vincenzo Nibali hopes". The Telegraph. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  13. ^ Gadzała, Paweł (8 August 2016). "Olympic Games: Majka scores another historic result for Poland". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Majka joins Sagan at Bora-Hansgrohe for 2017". cyclingnews.com. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Majka wins second stage, takes Tour of California lead". USA Today. Gannett. Associated Press. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  16. ^ "George Bennett wins Tour of California". Cyclingnews.com. Immediate Media Company. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Bennett wins final Tour of Slovenia stage". Cyclingnews.com. Immediate Media Company. 18 June 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  18. ^ "Majka takes out Tour de Slovenie queen stage". Cyclingnews.com. Immediate Media Company. 17 June 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Rafał Majka takes close second at Tour de Pologne after huge BORA - hansgrohe effort on final day". Bora–Hansgrohe. Denk Pro Cycling GmbH & Co. KG. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  20. ^ Westemeyer, Susan (2 September 2017). "Vuelta a Espana: Majka claims stage 14 at La Pandera". Cyclingnews.com. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  21. ^ "Tour de France 2022: Huge blow for Tadej Pogacar as key lieutenant Rafal Majka abandons with muscle tear". Eurosport UK. 20 July 2022. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  22. ^ Rafał Majka wziął ślub - se.pl - 18-02-20178

External links[edit]