Tour de France: Majka in the mix for Stage 17 victory
This really is the business end of this year’s Tour de France with the riders set to take on a gruelling set of climbs on the 124.5km to the finish at Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet.
Another breakaway could be set for victory on Stage 17 but expect the GC contenders to nullify any break as the race for the yellow jersey heats up.
Oliver Yew takes a look at three riders who might add their name to the likes of Raymond Poulidor, Joop Zoetemelk, Lucien van Impe and Lance Armstrong on the list of illustrious winners at the top of today’s final climb.
The Polish rider, who will wear the Polkadot jersey on Stage 17, will be desperate to get in the breakaway as he looks to grab the King of the Mountains points available today.
And with a breakaway successful the last time Le Tour finished at Saint-Lary, the 24-year-old, who is no danger to yellow jersey holder Vincenzo Nibal, will be confident of going all the way today.
The Team Tinkoff-Saxo star can also draw inspiration from the fact Zenon Jaskula, the only previous Polish stage winner, was the victor at Saint-Lary in 1993.
The Italian has been in absolutely no bother whatsever during this Tour de France and if the breakaway is unsuccessful the maillot jaune will surely be in contention for victory.
The former Giro d’Italia winner is 4min 37secs ahead of his nearest rival and with Paris on the horizon he will not be keen to give anything away with just five days left of racing.
Tinkoff-Saxo took Stage 16 after Michael Rogers blew away the field in impressive style but today could be teammate Nicolas Roache’s time to shine.
With Majka in the hunt for King of the Mountains points Roche could be the man to support him in the early stages but as the stage unfolds the 30-year-old could be cut loose.
The Irishman, who started the Tour in support of Alberto Contador, has been in impressive form of late and will be desperate to claim a second Grand Tour individual stage win and first Tour de France stage win.
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