VUELTA’21 Stage 15: Magic Majka Solo to El Barraco

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Vuelta Stage Report: UAE Team Emirates, Rafal Majka, took the win in El Barraco four years after his last Vuelta win in Sierra de la Pandera. The Polish rider went on a long range solo effort on both occasions. Odd Christian Eiking’s Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux team worked hard to keep him in the overall lead going into the last rest day.

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The last kilometre

The fifteenth stage of the Vuelta a España was won by Rafal Majka. The experienced Polish climber from UAE Team Emirates won after an impressive solo of almost 90 kilometres in El Barraco. Steven Kruijswijk was well behind in second place. Odd Christian Eiking starts the third week as leader.

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Stage 15 Profile

Technical director, Fernando Escartín: “Long stage with four mountains passes, among them two 1st category climbs, which will test the peloton. The climb up to Mijares (1st category), 40 km from the finish-line, and San Juan de Nava (3rd category), 5 km from the finish-line, will reduce the group. A sprint finale is expected among the favourites, who will have to overcome the climbs and the Ávila heat at that time of year.”

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Romain Bardet in the KOM jersey

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Another day in red for Eiking

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Very dry in the centre of Spain

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The break had to try hard to get away

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Would the break succeed?

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The vegetables seem to be doing well

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The peloton wasn’t happy to let them go

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A bit of flag waving on a Sunday morning

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The peloton were not taking it easy

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Eiking hoping to finish in red and hold it to Monday’s rest day

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Not many flat roads

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Fabio Aru tried, but…

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Chase group

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Not another stage win for Storer today

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Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux were keeping it together for Odd Christian Eiking

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Everyone needed their climbing legs today

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Rafal Majka eventually went solo

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Steven Kruijswijk chased after Majka, but couldn’t get near

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A well deserved win for Rafal Majka

Stage winner, Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s special. Sometimes you try, and it’s not easy to go for the break. But today I tried from the start to the end, I din’t wait for anybody today. I wanted to win the stage. Specially, I wanted to do it for my father, who passed away, for my two kids and also for the great team that UAE is. I’m so happy. I had a bad start of the season, and it was not easy for me and for my family.”

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The win was dedicated to his father and children

Overall leader and 6th on the stage, Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I was relieved in the end. It was a really hard day, really long, but I have to say my team did a really good race. Without them, I might not have the red jersey today. A huge thanks to them. I know all the riders in my team are very strong, it’s just we’ve never been in this situation before. I see now wee should have many times! I looked at my two closest rivals, Guillaume Martin and [Primoz] Roglic, to not let them go. It was a pretty tough finish, and once we passed the top, I knew I was pretty safe.”

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Red till Tuesday for Eiking

Vuelta a España Stage 15 Result:
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates in 4:51:36
2. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:27
3. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) DSM at 2:19
4. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:42
5. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:57
6. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
9. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
10. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 15:
1. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 59:57:50
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:54
3. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:36
4. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:11
5. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 3:04
6. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 3:35
7. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:21
8. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:34
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 4:59
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:31.

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