Spanish rider will not return to Giro d'Italia in 2018

Mikel Landa (Movistar) will skip the Giro d’Italia to put full his effort into winning the Tour de France and Vuelta a España later in the summer.

Team Sky employed the Basque rider for the last two years to lead its Giro team, before sending him to the Tour as a domestique for Chris Froome. In 2017, he not only supported Froome to a fourth title but also finished in fourth overall, just one second away third place

Having moved to Movistar for the 2018 season, he now wants to take the Tour de France head on and not think about sacrificing himself during a three-week race in May.

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“I have ruled out the Giro because I want to get to the Tour in the best conditions, with a first peak in a powerful way, for that there is no other option but to sacrifice the Giro,” Landa told the Marca newspaper

In 2017, Landa began the the Giro as co-leader with Geraint Thomas. Both crashed on stage nine after hitting a motorbike parked at the side of the road, but Landa was able to continue to win the Piancavallo mountain stage and the blue mountains jersey.


Watch: Tour de France 2018 route guide


Movistar wants him to race alongside Nairo Quintana , who has twice finished as runner-up to Froome at the Tour, to try to upset the Team Sky rider and wear the yellow jersey in Paris.

With Landa, Movistar may have the winning combination. The situation with Quintana and star helper Alejandro Valverde, however, could cause stress.

“I am indifferent,” Landa said of sharing the leadership role with Quintana. “I have already gone through these situations: we both have clear ideas, we both race for Movistar and we will be leaders along with Valverde, the road will decide.”

The Tour de France 2018 route includes with a 35-kilometre team time trial on day three in Cholet and a 31-kilometre individual one on the penultimate day.

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“I like the route because it has a short time trial,” continued Landa. “We have a strong team to face Sky. Romain Bardet, Rigoberto [Urán] and I look very much alike. In the time trial we’ll be at a similar level.”

Landa spoke near Málaga in Estepona, where he travelled to see the 2018 Vuelta a España route presented, a race that he will also aim for in 2018 before targetting the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria in September.

“It’s a tough course, as always in the Vuelta, demanding from the first to the last day. The [final two] stages in Andorra are a bit scary, we’ll have to save our strength,” he added.

“The stage to Monte Oiz [stage 17] is special, any stage which finishes in the Basque Country is special and if it ends up on a summit, I have even more possibilities. And the Lagos de Covadonga stage [15] is a very tough stage, with a special climb for cyclists, it’s mythical in Spain. And of course, Andorra…”

On the penultimate day in Andorra, Unipublic scheduled a similar stage to the one Landa won in 2015 while racing. Just 105km in length kilometres, the stage crosses five passes on its way to a summit finish at Collada de La Gallina.