Tuesday, April 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Majka earns Pole position on Tour’s 14th stage

APTOPIX Cycling Tour de France

Poland's Rafal Majka crosses the finish line to win the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 177 kilometers (110 miles) with start in Grenoble and finish in Risoul, France, Saturday, July 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

By
From page B1 | July 20, 2014 |

RISOUL, France — Panting hard with his jersey unzipped and wide open in the heat, Polish rider Rafal Majka sped to a solo breakaway victory on Stage 14 as the Tour de France wrapped up its foray in the Alps on Saturday.

The two stages were expected to shake up the standings, but Vincenzo Nibali was not only still wearing the yellow jersey, he was farther out front.

In a flip of their finishes a day earlier in the race’s entree to the Alps when Nibali won, the Pole and the Italian crossed one-two after the 177-kilometer (110-mile) ride over the 2,360-meter (7,742-foot) Izoard pass — the race’s highest point — and a final ascent up to Risoul ski station.

Majka’s victory was the first on this Tour by his Tinkoff-Saxo Bank team, which lost main leader Alberto Contador when he crashed out injured on Stage 10.

Majka was not a threat to Nibali: He began the day 97 minutes behind the race leader, who has carried out a methodical, chipping-away strategy against his biggest challengers for the yellow jersey.

“I am really very happy,” Majka, who was sixth in the Giro d’Italia this year, said of his first professional victory after chucking his stage winner’s bouquet to the crowd. He became only the second Polish rider to win a Tour stage, after Zenon Jaskula in 1993. “I am a little tired, but … I had a calm first week to help Alberto. It broke my heart to see him leave.”

Team owner Oleg Tinkov, a Russian businessman, choked up, wiped his nose, and put on sunglasses.

“We lost Alberto, we had to win,” he said through a translator on French TV. “Rafal is a marvelous young rider. We will come back to try to win the Tour one day.”

Majka said he did not believe speculation that Tinkoff-Saxo Bank selected him among its nine Tour riders only after the team suspended Czech rider Roman Kreuziger. Just days before announcing its Tour roster last month, the team suspended Kreuziger from competing any more this year because of anomalies in his biological passport, which cycling officials use to fight doping. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Majka, who said he was tired after the strong Giro performance, said he was given assurances by team managers that “you’ll do the Tour, but you’ll take it easy in the first week,” he said. “It’s also wrong to think that I’m doing the Tour because Roman Kreuziger isn’t. Had he been able to start, we would have both been part of the team.”

Victor Petri, a team spokesman, confirmed Majka was in contention for a roster spot before the Kreuziger case.

The Pole was out front early in the stage, joining a 17-rider breakaway behind Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez, the Tour’s best climber. They cleared the first big climb, the Lauteret pass, with about a five-minute lead. By the top of the Izoard, they had thinned to 10. As the groupetto splintered on the last climb, and Nibali and the peloton closed in, Majka covered the last eight kilometers alone.

The stage didn’t shake up the top five standings, but the day’s biggest loser was Alejandro Valverde of Spain: The Movistar team leader held on to his second place but lost a minute to Nibali and saw his gap over third-place Romain Bardet of France slip to 13 seconds. Overall, Nibali leads Valverde by 4:37 and Bardet by 4:50. American Tejay van Garderen was fifth, 5:49 back.

Nibali’s strong performance makes the Tour from here to the finish in eight days in Paris looking more and more like a race for podium spots below him.

Giuseppe Martinelli, a manager with Nibali’s Astana team and an Italian cycling veteran, said Nibali’s “big engine” was making the difference: “It’s what makes the difference between a very strong rider and a regular rider.”

“Preparation, team strategy, that’s all good. But it’s the engine that makes the difference in times like this,” Martinelli added.

Nibai crossed 24 seconds behind Majka, followed by Jean-Christophe Peraud in third, two seconds slower. Bardet and fellow French rider Thibaut Pinot conducted a two-man sprint and crossed another 24 seconds back. Van Garderen was fifth, 54 seconds behind.

“From the team car, I was told: ‘If you still have something in the tank, go for it,'” Nibali said. “I was looking at gaining some time over Alejandro Valverde. I heard that he cracked after I left him.”

Valverde, speaking from a team car, said “I didn’t crack!” and explained that his trouble stemmed mainly from bad coordination with Pinot on the final climb and taking leadership of their bunch. As for the overall title chase, Valverde said: “Nibali is the strongest, but we others are neck and neck.”

Nibali addressed speculation that he might have known Michele Ferrari, an Italian doctor who was banned by the Italian Cycling Federation in 2002 and by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency two years ago for serving as a doping consultant on Lance Armstrong’s winning teams.

“I’ve never met him personally. I’ve been accused in the past to have worked with him,” said Nibali, referring to allegations that there were photographs of him together with Ferrari. “Those pictures simply didn’t exist.”

Sunday’s stage offers some relief after the Alps: Stage 15 is a flat 222 kilometers (138 miles) from Tallard to Nimes, before riders take the second rest day.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Explore habitat of bats at special Solano-Yolo event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Train hits car, kills 1

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: | Gallery

 
Dollar Tree settles illegal dumping case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Man walks to bring awareness to need for divorce reform

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘The Mask You Live In’ set for Vacaville premiere

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Woman reported missing in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: | Gallery

Caltrans reminds motorists of Highway 12 bridge work

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Thor, Iron Man, Captain America return to movie screens

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Chambers plans Cinco de Mayo celebration

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A7

 
Rio Vista to celebrate endive once again

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A7

Full slate of events on tap in downtown Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Fairfield police log: April 26, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: April 25, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 24, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 26, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: April 25, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 24, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

 
Loretta Lynch sworn in as new US attorney general

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

GOP defense budget challenges Obama on Ukraine, Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Senate expands community colleges’ reach on sexual assault

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tuna company, 2 employees charged in death of worker in oven

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woman convicted of murder after young daughter disappeared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ex-Guantanamo detainees in Uruguay protest at US Embassy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cash handoffs, extortion fuel Mediterranean trafficking

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suspect in woman’s shooting arrested after 5-hour standoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
High court rejects appeal from protester at military base

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Study blames global warming for 75 percent of very hot days

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nepal quake death toll tops 4,000; villages plead for aid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Corinthian Colleges closes all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
California teen confesses to fatally stabbing 9-year-old boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

New Ellis Island center to complete US immigration story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US, Japan boost defense ties with eyes on China, NKorea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Coast Guard suspends search for 4 missing off Alabama coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tiny California tribe turns to adoption to boost revenue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Yemen’s exiled government declares 3 disaster zones

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tuesday’s the day: Gay marriage arguments at Supreme Court

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prosecutor: 2 exams found James Holmes to be sane

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Judge won’t delay order on inmate sex reassignment surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Thousands attend funeral for Freddie Gray in Baltimore

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Opinion

Time for multiple-county tourism, arts, downtown project

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
What’s Marco Rubio’s secret?

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Jayne Meadows, actress and TV personality, dies at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Winehouse family criticizes ‘misleading’ movie about singer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Singer Jamie Barton wins the ‘Heisman Trophy’ of music

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Kim Kardashian: supports Bruce Jenner’s gender transition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Rushdie chastises authors protesting Hebdo tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
It’s nail-biting time on Broadway ahead of Tony nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

‘Black-ish’ creator set to write ‘Good Times’ movie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Don Mankiewicz, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, dies at 93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Salma Hayek hopes ‘The Prophet’ inspires new generations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
TVGrid April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

 
Dodgers pitcher McCarthy out for season with elbow injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks near agreement to extend lease in San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head into draft in need of receiver, pass rusher

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pacquiao, Roach scheme on plan for Mayweather’s defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
A new format, more golf for all at Match Play

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Orioles’ game in Baltimore postponed due to safety concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to stay sharp while waiting for 2nd round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Kerr wins Rudy Tomjanovich Award from Pro Basketball Writers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cards ace Adam Wainwright out for season with torn Achilles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Owner Ahmed Zayat takes aim at Kentucky Derby with 3 horses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Equestrian aims for more nations competing at Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cavaliers move on without Love, out with dislocated shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Redskins to pick up 5th-year option on Robert Griffin III

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rare Honus Wagner baseball card sells for $1.32 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Arrest warrant sought for UFC champ in hit-and-run crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hamilton given back to Texas after troubled Angels stint

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
89-year-old former Kansas player scores in alumni scrimmage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Arena talks underway in Seattle suburb with eye on hockey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vegas sets up ‘concentric’ security for upcoming megafight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Packers will retire Favre’s jersey on Thanksgiving

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies G Mike Conley has facial surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Peterson absent but still wanted back by Vikings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

Ex-executive gets prison for $27M insider trading scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
High court to consider lawsuits over personal data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

Discover discovers Apple Pay for its US cardholders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
With economy uncertain, no Fed rate hike is seen before fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Change to Greek bailout negotiating team fuels market hopes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Burger King heats it up with spicy Whopper and sales surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Forget the watch: Apple’s iPhones are still the main event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Truckers at huge seaport complex strike; impact minimal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

ESPN suing Verizon over unbundling of its sports channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sudoku April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4