RISOUL, France -- Panting hard with his jersey unzipped and wide open in the heat, Polish rider Rafal Majka sped to a solo breakaway victory on Stage 14 as the Tour de France wrapped up its foray in the Alps on Saturday.
The two stages were expected to shake up the standings, but Vincenzo Nibali was not only still wearing the yellow jersey, he was farther out front.
In a flip of their finishes a day earlier in the race's entree to the Alps when Nibali won, the Pole and the Italian crossed one-two after the 177-kilometer (110-mile) ride over the 2,360-meter (7,742-foot) Izoard pass -- the race's highest point -- and a final ascent up to Risoul ski station.
Majka's victory was the first on this Tour by his Tinkoff-Saxo Bank team, which lost main leader Alberto Contador when he crashed out injured on Stage 10.
Majka was not a threat to Nibali: He began the day 97 minutes behind the race leader, who has carried out a methodical, chipping-away strategy against his biggest challengers for the yellow jersey.
"I am really very happy," Majka, who was sixth in the Giro d'Italia this year, said of his first professional victory after chucking his stage winner's bouquet to the crowd. He became only the second Polish rider to win a Tour stage, after Zenon Jaskula in 1993. "I am a little tired, but I had a calm first week to help Alberto. It broke my heart to see him leave."
The Polish rider was out front early, joining a 17-rider breakaway behind Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez, the Tour's best climber. They cleared the first big climb, the Lauteret pass, with about a five-minute lead. By the top of the Izoard, they had thinned to 10. As the groupetto splintered on the last climb, and Nibali and the peloton closed in, Majka covered the last eight kilometers alone.
Nibali's strong performance makes the Tour from here to the finish in eight days in Paris looking more and more like a race for podium spots below him.