Rafal Majka storms to stage 17 win at the Tour de France

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Rafal Majka extended his lead in the King of the Mountains jersey on Wednesday by winning stage 17 of the Tour de France.

Majka was part of a 22-man breakaway but in the last few kilometres he surged away from Giovanni Visconti to claim his second win of the 2014 competition.

Movistar's Visconti finished 29 seconds behind Majka at the summit finish, with the overall race leader Vincenzo Nibali finishing in third place after another impressive performance.

Majka now has a commanding lead in the King of the Mountains competition with only four stages to go and he thanked his teammates for all their hard work during the stage.

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Proud efforts

According to Sky, the Tinkoff-Saxo rider said: “This is a thank you for my team, because they are working for me always. I am really happy.

“I went in the breakaway to win the stage. Bjarne [Riis, the Tinkoff-Saxo sports director] told me if we win the stage, we win the [polka dot] jersey. I won the stage and I have the jersey.”

Nibali was once again too strong for his closest general classification rival Alejandro Valverde, who finished 49 seconds behind the Italian meaning he is now five minutes 26 seconds off the yellow jersey.

Close finish

French riders Thibaut Pinot, Jean-Christophe Peraud and Romain Bardet are all fighting for a podium finish in and to be the highest French finisher  in Paris. With only a few days of racing left, it is going to be very close.

The Tour de France ends on the Champs Elysees in Paris on Sunday.

Stage 17 result

1 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, 3:35:23
2 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar, +0:29
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, +0:46
4 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Agr-La Mondiale, same time
5 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale, +0:49
6 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, +0:52
7 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing, +1:12
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin, st
9 Nicolas Roche (Ire) Tinkoff-Saxo, +1:25
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +1:35

General classification

1 Vincenzo Niabli (Ita) Astana, 76:41:28
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +5:26
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ, +6:00
4 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +6:08
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +7:34
6 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC, +10:19
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin, +11:59
8 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin, +12:16
9 Leopold Konig (Cze) NetApp-Endura, +12:40
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, +13:15

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Tour De France
Vincenzo Nibali

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