Majka claims stage 14 victory

Stage 14 winner Rafal Majka pulled clear with 10 kilometres to go (AP)

Stage 14 winner Rafal Majka pulled clear with 10 kilometres to go (AP)

First published in National Sport News © by

Poland's Rafal Majka broke away on the final climb to win the 14th stage of the Tour de France on Saturday and claim a first stage victory for his Tinkoff-Saxo team.

Majka pulled clear with 10 kilometres to go and maintained his lead to finish the 177km stage in five hours, eight minutes and 27 seconds.

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali finished second, 24 seconds behind Majka, to retain his overall lead.

France claimed three of the top five spots in Risoul as Jean-Christophe Peraud came third, Thibaut Pinot took fourth and Romain Bardet was just behind in fifth.

The result means Nibali leads Alejandro Valverde of Spain by four minutes 37 seconds in the general classification, with Bardet and Pinot sitting third and fourth respectively.

Team Sky's Richie Porte struggled to establish a foothold in the race and crossed the line 27th while Britain's highest finisher on the day was Orica GreenEDGE's Simon Yates in 21st.

On another gruelling day of Alpine climbs, the race included both the Col du Lautaret and the 2,360m Col d'Izoard before concluding at the Risoul ski station.

An early breakaway group, which at one point consisted of 17 riders, led the way over the first two ascents but began to break apart on the third Category 1 climb into the town of Risoul.

Majka pressed home his advantage and gradually rode clear of his rivals, holding off early attacks from Alessandro de Marchi, Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez and Joaquim Rodriguez.

Jean-Christophe Peraud and Pierre Rolland also made unsuccessful attempts to take the lead with just under 5km to go before Nibali pulled away to create a gap.

As Majka closed in on victory, Peraud managed to stick with Nibali and pushed the Italian for second place but narrowly lost out by 0.02 secs.

Pinot and Bardet were next in before America's Tejay Van Garderen followed for sixth.

Valverde surrendered more time to Nibali in the overall standings as he crossed the line 10th, 1.23 behind Majka.

The Tour resumes on Sunday with Stage 15 - a flatter 222km race from Tallard to Nimes.

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