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"It's what motivates me. My dream is to win a grand tour and that's the natural step in my sporting development. I'm happy how my career has evolved."

Photo: Sirotti




12.12.2015 @ 15:55 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On September 12, Rafal Majka celebrated his twenty-sixth birthday in style. On the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a Espana, between San Lorenzo de El Escorial and Cercedilla and at the end of a 175.8km race with two passages of the Alto de Navacerrada disputed and the Cotos Morcuera, the Tinkoff rider managed to move himself onto the podium of the Spanish race after one of the most beautiful and exciting races in recent hisory which eventually cost the overall win for Tom Dumoulin.


The next day Majka shared the podium with winner Fabio Aru and runnur-up Joaquim Rodriguez. It was his first podium finish in a grand tour after his sixth place at the 2014 Giro d'Italia and after three stage wins at the Tour de France, in Risoul and Saint-Lary-Soulan in 2014 when he also won the montains jersey, and in Cauterets in 2015.


The podium in the Vuelta was another proof that Majka is ready to take responsibility and lead a big team like Tinkoff in the most important races. "I aspire to be better every day," he told the organizers of the Tour de San Luis in an interview. "It's what motivates me. My dream is to win a grand tour and that's the natural step in my sporting development. I'm happy how my career has evolved."


Along with Peter Sagan, the new world champion and star of the moment, Rafal Majka will lead the Tinkoff team at the Tour de San Luis. "It will be my first time there, but my teammates have told me that it is a hard and hot race which I really like. I think it will be a great place to start the season," he said about his excitement to discover new horizons.


It is now an anecdote how he convinced Bjarne Riis, the former boss of the team, to sign him and give him a chance in the pro ranks. It happened in January 2011 when he was not even 21 years old. He was the only rider who managed to follow Contador at the preseason training camp in Mallorca.


Since then, he has helped him Spanish captain win many races and remained under his shadow, Majka has been growing quietly. "I'm very happy to be part of the Tinkoff team," he explained. "For me it is the best team in the world and I have very good relationships with Alberto and Peter and also with the other riders, managers, coaches and the owner," he added without forgetting Oleg Tinkov. "There is no conflict of interest," he said when asked about the many stars in the team.


Majka and his team have discussed his goals for 2016. First he is expected to lead the team in the Gro and then he will go on to support Contador in the Tour. However, he also aims at one-day success. "My big goal will be the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro," he explained.


And because of that, he doesn't expect to fight for the overall victory in the Tour de San Luis: "It would be very nice, but my peak form is planned for the second half of the year," he says. "But if I can't be up there, I will help my Tinkoff teammates to fight for stage wins."



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