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Tour de France at a glance

PLA D’ADET, France – A brief look at the 17th stage of the Tour de France yesterday:

Stage: The second of three high mountain stages in the Pyrenees that will conclude today. Yesterday’s 77-miles stage between Saint-Gaudens and Pla d’Adet was the shortest stage of this year’s edition but it was far from the easiest, with a beyond-category summit finish atop Pla d’Adet coming after three first category climbs.

Winner: Poland’s Rafal Majka notched his second Tour stage win at this year’s race and the third for his Tinkoff-Saxo team. Majka broke away toward the top of the final climb to finish 29 seconds ahead of Italy’s Giovanni Visconti and 46 seconds ahead of race leader Vincenzo Nibali. The win also tightened Majka’s grip on the polka dot jersey for best climber.

Yellow Jersey: Vincenzo Nibali continued to extend his lead over his major rivals with an attack near the top of Pla d’Adet that only one other rider could match. The Sicilian now sits 5 minutes and 26 seconds ahead of Spain’s Alejandro Valverde and 6 minutes ahead of France’s Thibaut Pinot.

Quote of the day: “I think it’s crazy that Nibali keeps attacking, he’s got such a big lead you’d think he’d be content to follow and let the other guys play it out. He just wants to dominate the race any chance he can.” American rider Tejay van Garderen.

Stat of the day: 31. Rafal Majka’s lead, in points, over Vincenzo Nibali in the polka dot jersey competition for best climber.

Next stage: Today’s 18th stage sends riders 90 miles from Pau to the summit finish at Hautacam, rated “beyond category” in the Tour jargon to describe the most difficult climbs. Along the way, riders will have to race up and over the legendary Tourmalet climb, a monster that itself is rated “beyond category.”


Playful Pole wins Tour stage as Nibali marches on

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PLA D’ADET, France – On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna. Even this late in the Tour de France, the Polish rider made winning look easy as he took Stage 17 yesterday. For Vincenzo Nibali, the second ride in the mountains on France’s border with …

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