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Majka accepts Tour de France ride after initial doubts

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 29, 2014, 16:14 BST,
Updated:
June 29, 2014, 16:51 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 30, 2014
Race:
Tour de France
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) through the tunnel of fans on the Monte Zoncolan

Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) through the tunnel of fans on the Monte Zoncolan

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Tinkoff-Saxo rider to replace Kreuziger

Rafal Majka has accepted a spot on the Tinkoff-Saxo Tour de France squad, reversing his earlier doubts about riding another grand tour so soon. On Saturday the Polish rider criticized the team for the nomination, in a posting on his Facebook page which has since been deleted.

Majka will take the place of Roman Kreuziger, who yesterday announced that he had been informed of abnormalities in his blood passport. The team said that while Kreuziger is not suspended, he will not race again pending an outcome of the issue.

The 24-year old Polish rider made another posting on his Facebook page overnight, in which he said he would start the Tour and looked forward to helping Alberto Contador win the race.

"I thought about the whole situation and came to the conclusion that the TdF may be to me a step in the right direction. Sorry leadership of the team that doubted this decision.'ve come to the conclusion now that the start in the Tour de France will be a big challenge for me, but I want him to face. I will try to help Alberto with all my strength to achieve the most important goal - to win!"

This was a dramatic change from his first reaction to the news that he would be on the Tour squad. Majka finished sixth overall in the Giro d’Italia last month, and said that he had not fully recovered from that race. He even questioned whether the team cared about his health.

"Before the start of the season my calendar was primarily based on the Giro d` Italia, and later the Tour de Pologne and the Vuelta a Espana. Upon completion of the Giro, the management team wondered about my start in the Tour de France, but I was skeptical about this idea.
”

"Since my return from Italy I have not trained much, I was very tired and still feel the effects of this 3-week race. I do not feel ready to compete in the Tour de France. Yesterday I got a phone call from Bjarne Riis, who said that my start in France has already been decided and that I have to go,” he wrote in the since-deleted posting.



"I'm not happy with this decision. I believe that the Tinkoff-Saxo management does not care about my health. I'm 24 years old and I believe that riding two Grand Tours in a row at my age is too much. I hope I am wrong. However, I have concerns.

”

"The main objective is to win with Alberto Contador, and I have to support him. The Tour de France is not an easy race and even the flat stages are hard."

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