Rafal Majka wasn't down to ride the Tour de France for Tinkoff-Saxo after a good showing at the Giro d'Italia which saw him finish sixth overall but after a late call-up, the 24-year-old has impressed in his first La Grande Boucle.
Second place behind Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) to Chamrousse on stage 13 was the hors d'oeuvres for a debut professional victory the next day in Rissoul. Having started the day equal with Joaquim Rodriguez in the mountain competition on 88 points, a solitary point won atop Côte de Fanjeauxpoint moved him ahead in the classification and with a large breakaway swallowing up the remaning points on offer, Majka had done enough to book himself a podium appearance at the finish line.
"This morning, I wasn't sure I'd wear the polka dot jersey tonight," said Majka. "I was watching the breakaways and I tried to score one point at the first KOM sprint. I was fighting with my compatriot Michal Kwiatkowski who was looking to ride away from the bunch. I passed him on the line."
Majka's teammate Michael Rogers, who returned from an overturned doping suspension to win two stages of the Giro d'Italia in May, by claiming his first Tour stage win.
Majka then made it two podium appearances for the team in Bagneres-de-Luchon when he went up to collect the polka dot jersey. although he doesn't expect to hold it through the Pyrenees.
"I'm glad Michael Rogers won a stage after I did it but the Tour de France is not finished," Majka added. "There are two hard stages to come. We'll try to do something.
"It's difficult for me to defend the polka dot jersey because there are many points in contention and I have two serious adversaries with Joaquim Rodriguez and Vincenzo Nibali."