Majka heads Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank GC challenge at Tour of Beijing
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Monday, October 1, 2012

Majka heads Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank GC challenge at Tour of Beijing

by VeloNation Press at 5:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Beijing
Christensen, Tanner and Haedo earmarked to chase stages

Rafal MajkaAfter backing Alberto Contador to victories in the Vuelta a España and Milano-Torino, Rafal Majka gets a chance to show what he himself can do, leading the Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank team in the upcoming Tour of Beijing.

The final WorldTour race of the season will start in eight days’ time and the young Polish rider plus the rest of the squad will travel this week to China.

Until now Majka has had limited chances to ride for himself, with second on a stage of the Tour de l’Ain being the high point of his year. However he’ll have the backing of the Danish team next week, and sport director Philippe Mauduit believes he’ll seize the chance.

“Majka, who just finished the Vuelta and competed at the world championships, will be a great leader for us,” he said. “It is really a race fit for him.

“This year the Tour of Beijing is pretty different because we have no time trial, so we hope for an opportunity to achieve results on the mountain stages. I have already seen on one mountain stage the parcours will be different as was planned, but we hope to create some time differences anyway on the mountain stages. We have some good riders to do that.

“We are ready to compete…we are ready to fight and make a spectacular race.”

Majka will be backed by five others in the race; they will help him wherever they can, but may also have scope for personal ambition.

One of those who is seen as a key ally for Majka is the Dane Mads Christensen, a winner earlier this year of the mountains classification at the Tour of the Basque Country. However the team also believes that he could grab a stage win.

The Australian David Tanner and the Argentinean Lucas Sebastian Haedo will chase sprint success on the flat and, like Christensen, Jaroslaw Marycz and Manuele Boaro, will also use their horsepower for Majka.

Mauduit acknowledges that some riders on the Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank team are tired after a long season, but said that those heading to China are ‘in excellent condition.’

“We have some guys who had an injury during the year, or had a bad crash, so they had a big hole at one time in the season. They are still fresh at the end of the year, and it is the case with Rafal and the team we have put into the Tour of Beijing.”

The WorldTour race begins on Tuesday October 9th in Tiananmen Square.

2012 Tour of Beijing:

Stage One – Tuesday 9th October: Tiananmen Square to Bird’s Nest Olympic Piazza, 117 km
Stage Two – Wednesday 10th October: Bird’s Nest Piazza to Men Tou Gou Yong Ding River Cultural Square, 126 km
Stage Three – Thursday 11th October: Green Sea Forest Park to Yan Qing Ba Da Ling Great Wall, 162.5 km
Stage Four – Friday 12th October: Yan Qing Gui Chuan Square to Chang Ping Stadium, 165.5 km
Stage Five – Saturday 13th October: Chang Ping Stadium to Ping Gu Centenary Square, 182.5 km


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