EL BARRACO, Spain – Rafal Majka took the lead at the first of four climbs and held on for an impressive win in the 15th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Sunday, with Odd Christian Eiking keeping the overall lead.
Majka went to the front with less than 90 kilometers (56 miles) to go and stayed in control during the rest of the challenging 197.5-kilometer (122.7-mile) stage between Navalmoral de la Mata and El Barraco. He crossed the finish line in 4 hours, 51 minutes, 36 seconds – 1:27 ahead of Steven Kruijswijk.
It was the first Vuelta stage victory since 2017 for Majka, a Polish rider from UAE Team Emirates.
Eiking, who has held the leader’s red jersey since the 10th stage, finished almost three minutes behind Majka, along with the rest of the top contenders in the general classification, including two-time defending Vuelta champion Primoz Roglic.
Adam Yates finished fourth on Sunday to gain 15 seconds on the top contenders.
Riders have their second rest day of the three-week race on Monday. They face a stage that will favor the sprinters on Tuesday, a 180-kilometer (111.8-mile) route from Laredo to Santa Cruz de Bezana in northern Spain.