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Rafał Majka (Polish pronunciation: [ˈrafaw ˈmajka]; born 12 September 1989) is a Polish professional road bicycle racer, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Bora–Hansgrohe.[2] 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.

Rafał Majka
Rafał Majka, Japan Cup 2012 (cropped).jpg
Majka at the 2012 Japan Cup
Personal information
Full nameRafał Majka
Born (1989-09-12) 12 September 1989 (age 30)
Zegartowice, Poland
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight58 kg (128 lb; 9 st 2 lb)
Team information
Current teamBora–Hansgrohe
DisciplineRoad
RoleRider
Rider typeClimber
Amateur team(s)
2008–2009Gragnano S.C.
2009Miche–Silver Cross–Selle Italia
2010Petroli Firenze
Professional team(s)
2011–2016Saxo Bank–SunGard[1]
2017–Bora–Hansgrohe
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
Mountains classification (2014, 2016)
3 individual stages (2014, 2015)
Vuelta a España
1 individual stage (2017)

Stage races

Tour de Pologne (2014)

One-day races and Classics

National Road Race Championships (2016)

CareerEdit

2013Edit

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.

2014Edit

 
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.[3] Four days later he claimed another victory on Stage 17, soloing to the mountaintop finish atop Pla d'Adet.[4] 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.[5] Majka was the first Polish rider to win the Tour de Pologne since it became part of the UCI World Tour.

2015Edit

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.

2016Edit

 
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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

On 18 October 2014 he married Magdalena Kowal in a private ceremony in Wiśniowa.[12] In February 2017 their first child, a daughter was born.

Career achievementsEdit

Major resultsEdit

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   Young rider classification
2013
2nd Milano–Torino
3rd Giro di Lombardia
4th Overall Tour de Pologne
1st   Points classification
7th Overall Giro d'Italia
Held   after Stages 7, 10–14, 18–19
2014
1st   Overall Tour de Pologne
1st Stages 5 & 6
Tour de France
1st   Mountains classification
1st Stages 14 & 17
4th Overall USA Pro Cycling Challenge
4th Overall Critérium International
1st   Young rider classification
6th Overall Giro d'Italia
Held   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   Road race, National Road Championships
Tour de France
1st   Mountains classification
  Combativity award Stage 15
3rd   Road race, Olympic Games
5th Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
5th Overall Giro d'Italia
7th Overall Tour de San Luis
2017
1st   Overall Tour of Slovenia
1st   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   Polish rider classification
6th Overall Abu Dhabi Tour
7th Trofeo Pollenca-Port de Andratx
10th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
2018
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
  Combativity award Stage 15 Tour de France
2019
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   Polish rider classification
10th Trofeo Campos, Porreres, Felanitx, Ses Salines

Grand Tour general classification results timelineEdit

Grand Tour 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
  Giro d'Italia 7 6 5 6
  Tour de France 44 28 27 DNF 19
  Vuelta a España DNF 32 19 3 39 13 6

Major stage race general classification results timelineEdit

Major stage race general classification results timeline
Stage races 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
  Paris–Nice 31 68 21
  Tirreno–Adriatico 73 24 37 52
  Volta a Catalunya DNF 11 DNF 11 7
  Tour of the Basque Country
  Tour de Romandie 47 DNF 13 7 DNF
  Critérium du Dauphiné 34
  Tour de Suisse 10

Classics results timelineEdit

Monuments results timeline
Monument 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milan–San Remo
Tour of Flanders
Paris–Roubaix
Liège–Bastogne–Liège DNF 33 113 10 57
Giro di Lombardia 26 DNF 3 69 DNF 26 7 12
Classics results timeline
Classic 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Strade Bianche 43
Dwars door Vlaanderen
E3 Harelbeke
Gent–Wevelgem
Amstel Gold Race 120
La Flèche Wallonne 136 82 29 90
Clásica de San Sebastián 15
Legend
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ "Tour de France: Majka wins in Risoul". Cyclingnews.com. 19 July 2014. Archived from the original on 20 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Tour de France: Majka victorious on Pla d'Adet". Cyclingnews.com. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Majka crowned Tour of Poland winner as Vandewalle wins stage 7 time trial". VeloNews. Competitor Group, Inc. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "Tinkoff Teamwork against all odds carries Rafal Majka to Polish national championship victory". Tinkoff Team. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  8. ^ O'Shea, Sadhbh (24 July 2016). "Tour de France: Sagan and Majka save Tinkoff". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ Gadzała, Paweł (8 August 2016). "Olympic Games: Majka scores another historic result for Poland". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Majka joins Sagan at Bora-Hansgrohe for 2017". cyclingnews.com. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  12. ^ Rafał Majka wziął ślub - se.pl - 18-02-20178

External linksEdit