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Rafal Majka

Rafal Majka (POL) wins stage 14 of the Tour de France. Photo by Graham Watson

Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) won stage 14 of the Tour de France Saturday, holding off a late charge from race leader Vincenzo Nibali at the end of the testing day that concluded atop the cat. 1 Risoul ascent. Though Nibali missed out on another stage win (he already has three), the Italian further padded his lead in the overall standings, putting nearly 30 seconds or more into his closest rivals.

The Astana captain is now a gaping 4:37 ahead of Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who had a tough final few kilometers, losing touch with a second chase group that included fellow podium challengers Romain Bardet (Ag2R), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr) and American Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

Valverde's hold on the second podium spot is now tenuous, with just 13 seconds separating him from young French sensation Bardet, who also sits atop the best young rider standings. Pinot is another 16 seconds behind Bardet, with van Garderen 5th overall, at 5:49.

Majka, 24, had been brought to the Tour to work for GC favorite Alberto Contador. But when the former yellow jersey winner crashed out, the young Polish rider was given the chance to ride for himself. He slipped into the early breakaway that included 17 riders, then was last man standing at the finish of another dramatic day at the Tour.

Tomorrow, the GC men should have an easier go of things. Unless wind or other inclement weather blows the race apart look for this long and flat transitional stage from Tallard to Nimes to be one for the sprinters. The almost dead flat 222km stage finishes in front of an ancient Roman amphitheater in Nimes.

STAGE 14 RESULTS

1. Rafal Majka (POL)
2. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)
3. Jean-Christophe Péraud (FRA)
4. Thibaut Pinot (FRA)
5. Romain Bardet (FRA)
6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA)
7. Frank Schleck (LUX)
8. Laurens Ten Dam (NED)
9. Leopold Konig (CZE)
10. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (ESP)

TEAM

Tinkoff-Saxo
Astana Pro Team
Ag2r La Mondiale
FDJ.fr
Ag2r La Mondiale
BMC Racing Team
Trek Factory Racing
Belkin Pro Cycling
Netapp-Endura
Movistar Team

TIME

05h 08' 27''
05h 08' 51''
05h 08' 53''
05h 09' 17''
05h 09' 17''
05h 09' 21''
05h 09' 28''
05h 09' 34''
05h 09' 47''
05h 09' 51''

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 14

1. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)
2. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (SPA)
3. Romain Bardet (FRA)
4. Thibaut Pinot (FRA)
5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA)
6. Jean-Christophe Péraud (FRA)
7. Bauke Mollema (NED)
8. Leopold Konig (CZE)
9. Laurens Ten Dam (NED)
10. Pierre Rolland (FRA)

TEAM

Astana Pro Team
Movistar Team
Ag2r La Mondiale
FDJ.fr
BMC Racing Team
Ag2r La Mondiale
Belkin Pro Cycling
Netapp-Endura
Belkin Pro Cycling
Team Europcar

TIME

61h 52' 54''
61h 57' 31''
61h 57' 44''
61h 58' 00''
61h 58' 43''
61h 59' 02''
62h 01' 27''
62h 02' 26''
62h 02' 55''
62h 03' 42''

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Yellow Jersey: Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Astana Pro Team
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Green Jersey: Peter Sagan (SVK), Cannondale
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Polka Dot Jersey: Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP), Team Katusha
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White Jersey: Romain Bardet (FRA), Ag2r La Mondiale

COMPLETE STAGE 14 RESULTS »
STAGE 14 GALLERY »

2014 TOUR DE FRANCE TEAMS

AG2R LA MONDIALE FRANCE
ASTANA PRO TEAM KAZAKHSTAN
BELKIN-PRO CYCLING TEAM NETHERLANDS
BMC RACING TEAM UNITED STATES
BRETAGNE SECHE ENVIRONMENT FRANCE

CANNONDALE ITALY
COFIDIS, SOL. CREDITSFRANCE
FDJ.FRFRANCE
GARMIN-SHARPUNITED STATES
IAM CYCLINGSWITERZLAND

KATUSHA TEAM RUSSIA
LAMPRE-MERIDA ITALY
LOTTO-BELISOLBELGIUM
MOVISTAR TEAMSPAIN
OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEPBELGIUM

ORICA GREENEDGEAUSTRALIA
TEAM EUROPCARFRANCE
TEAM GIANT-SHIMANONETHERLANDS
TEAM NETAPP-ENDURAGERMANY
TEAM SKYGREAT BRITAIN

TINKOFF-SAXODENMARK
TREK FACTORY RACINGUNITED STATES