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by Shane Stokes
August 23, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Trentin wins stage 4 of the Vuelta a España; Viviani wins stage one of the Tour du Poitou-Charentes; De Buyst sprints to victory in GP Stad Zottegem; Majka loses more time, Vuelta GC challenge is over; Valverde returns to road training, aiming to compete again before end of season; Quick-Step Floors signs Michael Morkov, extends with Devenyns; Gary Sutton takes up key track role with USA Cycling; Silca Tattico Bluetooth pump measures tire pressure with your smartphone; Seven Cycles introduces MATADOR gravel fork; Video: Chris Froome press conference after Vuelta a España stage 4
Having lost two minutes 35 seconds on Monday’s third stage of the Vuelta a España, Rafal Majka was below par again on Tuesday and conceded a further three minutes 45 seconds. The combined deficit has put him out of all GC contention in the race, something he and his Bora-hansgrohe team regrets.
“Already yesterday I suffered from bad stomach problems. Today again I couldn’t eat during the stage,” the Polish rider said. “I have no energy in my legs and every single kilometre is painful. We hope it will get better soon, but first I have to survive tomorrow, which will be tough. Then we will see how I can recover. The GC is done for me, but the Vuelta is not over yet.”
Majka is far from the only rider with stomach issues; Trek-Segafredo captains Alberto Contador and John Degenkolb have also been affected. Like Majka, Contador also lost his GC chances on Monday, although he was able to finish with the main bunch on stage four.
Majka cracked with five kilometres to go and conceded considerable time then. Directeur sportif Steffen Radochla said that there was nothing more he could do. “It’s a pity. Rafal was prepared really well for this Vuelta, but he is suffering the same stomach problems as Michael Kolar did, and as well Pawel does,” he stated.
“It seems to be some virus. There is not a lot we can do but give them the best medical support and wait. Michael is already feeling better at home, so we hope Rafal and Pawel can fight through this. But we know how hard it is to come through such problems during a Grand Tour and how painful it is for them out in the saddle. We all have great respect for that and support them as good as we can as a team.”