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TdF #17 Majka is king of the mountains

July 26, 2014

The young pole is obviously an entertainer. His win in Pla d’Adet was an incredible display of climbing. There were also plenty of antics including a few winks and more bizarrely a pull on a motorbike. That will result in a penalty but probably not a severe one. With that superb climb he took control of the mountains competition that he led coming into the stage, but Rodriguez overtook him briefly during the day. There are double points for a climb that tops out at the stage finish, so Majka now has a big lead over the Spaniard.

Team Tinko has recovered well from losing Contador and now has a handful of stage wins, and maybe the mountains jersey. That is a much better return than the likes of Sky and Garmin, who are struggling to win anything.

There was also plenty going on in the GC competition. Nibali was very strong as always in this race, but further back there was lot of competition. Whether AG2R like or not, Peraud has firmly pushed Bardet out of the way and taken over as their top GC hope. His methods may not be particularly stylish, as they seem to mainly involve sitting on Nibali’s wheel, but that is proving an effective way of getting closer to the podium. Valverde has been struggling under the weight of the French attack, but is just holding on to second place. He will be hoping to be close enough after the mountains and then aim to seal the place in the time trial.

There was also some shuffling down the leaderboard as the riders have a last dig to gain places. Rolland recovered enough time to regain the top ten, whilst Konig lost a bit of time and Kwiatkowski was dropped very early and lost over 20 minutes.

The Pyrenees has certainly provided excellent roads for the riders to compete. Only one more day in the mountains, but it is another hard one. Some will cheer and some will cry.

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