Majka to lead Tinkoff-Saxo at Giro


Tinkoff-Saxo have confirmed that Rafal Majka will lead their team at the upcoming Giro d'Italia.

The Pole has proved his class with three individual stage wins at the Tour de France over the past two years, while he also secured victory in the mountains classification in 2014.

Majka finished third at last year's Vuelta a Espana, and Tinkoff-Saxo are expecting his strong progress to continue at the Giro, which gets under way on Friday.

"Rafal Majka is the absolute leader here - if you look to the parcours, his history, how he has been riding in Romandie - so he will be our main card and our protected leader," said the team's sport director Tristan Hoffman.

"We have a strong team around him including Pavel Brutt, who after his injury rode a good classics campaign, and will be a strong guy who can pull hard on the flats and go in the breakaways."

Meanwhile, former Giro champion Ivan Basso is backing Majka to challenge for at least a place in the top three.

"Rafal Majka loves winning, but having never won a Grand Tour before he is right to introduce himself with a slightly more humble approach," Basso - Giro winner in 2006 and 2010 - told Omnisport.

"To podium at the Giro is a big ambition. He has got everything to make it but when you face someone like [Vincenzo] Nibali it is hard.

"Nibali is a competitor with a higher credibility than Majka today. Nevertheless, Majka is on his way up. He will be in the thick of the fight for the podium which is made of three steps... let's see on which one he will end up standing."