Sky new recruit Mikel Landa wins stage two of the Tour of the Basque Country to take the general classification lead after a successful escape

Mikel Landa took his first victory for Team Sky on Tuesday, claiming stage two of the Tour of the Basque Country in Spain.

The Spaniard had broken free from the lead group with Dutchman Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo). They worked together to grind out a steady pace up the steep final climb to the line, opening up a significant gap over the chase group.

Kelderman faded as a result of his efforts in the final few hundred metres to allow Landa to take the win unchallenged, and with it the overall race lead.

Sergio Henao (Sky) put in a late dig to take third place to gain valuable seconds over his general classification rivals. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) placed fifth at 11 seconds, with a group containing Nairo Quintana (Movistar) coming in at 15 seconds.

British brothers Simon and Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) finished in 28th and 30th positions respectively, just under a minute behind Landa.

Landa now leads Kelderman overall, with Henao in third.

>>> Mikel Landa: I’m fully recovered and ready to start Team Sky career

The race is an important one for Landa, not only is it on home roads but it also serves as a warm-up for his tilt at the Giro d’Italia in May. The 26-year-old had a less than perfect start to his season with Sky, suffering from a lingering illness. This victory will be a major boost.

Stage three of the Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta al Pais Vasco) takes place on Wednesday, with another hilly day over 194km from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Lesaka. The WorldTour-level race concludes on Saturday, April 9.

Mikel Landa wins stage two of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country

Mikel Landa wins stage two of the 2016 Tour of the Basque Country to take the race lead

Tour of the Basque Country 2016 results

Stage two: Markina-Xemein to Baranbio-Garrastatxu, 174km
1. Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 1 sec
3. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky at 5 secs
4. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing at 9 secs
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff at 11 secs
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 13 secs
7. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 15 secs
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
9. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
10. Sebastian Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ at same time

General classification after stage two
1. Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky in 8-37-38
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1 sec
3. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky at 5 secs
4. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing at 9 secs
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff at 11 secs
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 13 secs
7. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 15 secs
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 15 secs
9. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 15 secs
10. Sebastian Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ at 15 secs

  • Liz Miller

    Chapeau Mikel. Great to see you take a win in your first stage race for Team Sky.