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Gallery: Rafał Majka wins Vuelta Stage 15 to end four-year victory drought

Robyn Davidson
30 Aug 2021

UAE Team Emirates rider finally a winner again after near-90km solo break

Rafał Majka won Stage 15 of the Vuelta a España yesterday through a sensational long-range solo attack, ending his four-year wait for a victory.

The UAE Team Emirates rider spent 87km alone at the head of the race from Navalmoral de la Mata and shook his head in disbelief as he approached the line in El Barraco, celebrating by pointing towards the sky and raising his hands in the air.

Majka distanced Maxim Van Gils of Lotto Soudal and Qhubeka-NextHash’s Fabio Aru on the category two Puerto de Pedro Bernardo and never looked back, staying ahead on the following category one Puerto de Mijares and category three Puerto San Juan de Nava before the slight descent to the finish.

‘Sometimes you try and it’s not easy to go to the break… but today I tried from the start to the end,’ Majka said afterwards. ‘I didn’t wait for anybody today. I wanted to win. Especially I wanted to win for my father and for my two kids. I’m so happy.’

Jumbo-Visma’s Steven Kruijswijk spent much of the stage chasing Majka ahead but could never quite bridge the gap, hovering around a minute and a half behind until the end of the day in his unfortunate bridesmaid-never-bride position.

Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) launched two attacks on the final category three climb, the second finally sticking to see a 15-second gap open between himself and the group containing the main GC favourites, with limited action on the mountainous day ahead of what’s certain to be an explosive final week.

Odd Christian Eiking of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert still wears the red jersey into today’s second rest day. He maintains a 54 second lead over Cofidis’ Guillaume Martin, with Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) sitting third, 1:36sec behind.

Check out photographer Chris Auld’s photos from yesterday’s stage:

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