Rafał Majka

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Rafał Majka
Rafał Majka, Japan Cup 2012 (cropped).jpg
Majka at the 2012 Japan Cup
Personal information
Full name Rafał Majka
Born (1989-09-12) 12 September 1989 (age 27)
Zegartowice, Poland
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight 58 kg (128 lb)
Team information
Current team Bora–Hansgrohe
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type Climber
Amateur team(s)
2008–2009 Gragnano S.C.
2009 Miche–Silver Cross–Selle Italia
(stagiaire)
2010 Petroli Firenze
Professional team(s)
2011–2016 Saxo Bank–SunGard[1]
2017– Bora–Hansgrohe
Major wins

Grand Tours

Tour de France
Mountains classification (2014, 2016)
3 individual stages (2014, 2015)

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 for UCI WorldTeam Bora–Hansgrohe. 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 first 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.

Career[edit]

2013[edit]

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.

2014[edit]

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.[2] Four days later he claimed another victory on Stage 17, soloing to the mountaintop finish atop Pla d'Adet.[3] 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.[4] Majka was the first Polish rider to win the Tour de Pologne since it became part of the UCI World Tour.

2015[edit]

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.

2016[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] Subsequently in August 2016 Bora–Hansgrohe announced that Majka had agreed a two-year deal with the team from 2017, following Tinkoff team-mate Peter Sagan to the squad with a role as a team leader in Grand Tours and other stage races.[10]

Personal life[edit]

On October 18, 2014 he married Magdalena Kowal in a private ceremony in Wiśniowa.[11] In February 2017 their first child, a daughter was born.

Career achievements[edit]

Major results[edit]

2008
1st Trofeo Enzo Sacchi
3rd GP Città di Monsummano
2009
1st Firenze–Viareggio
3rd Bologna–Raticosa
8th GP Capodarco
2010
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
2012
3rd Japan Cup
7th Overall Tour of Beijing
1st Jersey white.svg Young rider classification
2013
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
2014
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
2015
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
2016
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
2017
1st Jersey green.svg Overall Tour of Slovenia
1st Jersey blue.svg Mountains classification
1st Stage 3
2nd Overall Tour of California
1st Stage 2
6th Overall Abu Dhabi Tour
7th Trofeo Pollenca-Port de Andratx
10th Liège–Bastogne–Liège

Grand Tour general classification results timeline[edit]

Grand Tour 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
A pink jersey Giro d'Italia 7 6 5
A yellow jersey Tour de France 44 28 27
A red jersey Vuelta a España DNF 32 19 3
Legend
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stokes, Shane (13 September 2012). "Majka renews contract with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank". VeloNation. VeloNation LLC. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Tour de France: Majka wins in Risoul". Cyclingnews.com. 19 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tour de France: Majka victorious on Pla d'Adet". Cyclingnews.com. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Majka crowned Tour of Poland winner as Vandewalle wins stage 7 time trial". VeloNews. Competitor Group, Inc. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ "Tinkoff Teamwork against all odds carries Rafal Majka to Polish national championship victory". Tinkoff Team. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  7. ^ O'Shea, Sadhbh (24 July 2016). "Tour de France: Sagan and Majka save Tinkoff". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ Gadzała, Paweł (8 August 2016). "Olympic Games: Majka scores another historic result for Poland". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Majka joins Sagan at Bora-Hansgrohe for 2017". cyclingnews.com. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  11. ^ Rafał Majka wziął ślub - se.pl - 18-02-20178

External links[edit]