Majka, UAE silence critics as Pogačar takes Stage 17 with authority

Rafal Majka believes UAE Team Emirates silenced their critics for good after guiding Tadej Pogačar to the hardest summit finish of the 2021 Tour de France.

Majka was part of a UAE guard that produced their most consistent display yet, with the Pole helping Pogačar all the way to the final eight-and-a-half kilometres.

The rest was up to the defending champion and he made no mistake, outsprinting both Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers) and Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma) to take Stage 17 on the Col du Portet.

Advertisement


Pogačar now leads the general classification rankings by 5’39”, with Vingegaard and Carapaz rounding out the rest of the podium places.

Majka and co. helped set the pace for the Slovenian, controlling the breakaway’s lead over the Col de Peyresourde and Col du Val Louron-Azet en route to their leader’s second stage win of the Tour.

There had been doubts as to whether Pogačar’s teammates would be able to withstand the challenges thrown their way ahead of the final stop in Paris, but, fresh from their impressive 177-kilometre performance, Majka felt UAE had proved their worth.

“It’s tough but we showed we have a very strong team here,” Majka said.

“Nobody can say we’re not strong. Sometimes you need to play the card and let the breakaway go but today we showed it.

“We made a really hard tempo on all the climbs and Tadej won.”

Pogačar could yet add to his stage-win tally atop Luz Ardiden in Stage 18, and teammate Marc Hirschi is willing to assist should defence sprint to attack.

“If he has the chance to go for the win then, OK, we’ll try," he said.



The Tour de France continues tonight with Stage 18 and you can catch all the action from 9:30pm (AEST) on SBS, SBS On Demand and the SKODA Tour Tracker app.


SHARE
Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
2 min read
Published 15 July 2021 at 9:58am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS