Mikel Landa has confirmed he will ride for Team Sky in 2016, saying that the British squad have offered him something that Astana couldn’t.
Despite showing his stage race credentials, finishing second in the Giro del Trentino before a third-place finish at the Giro d’Italia, Landa says the Kazakh team never appreciated his leadership qualities.
“The team has never considered me a leader,” he said in an interview with Basque newspaper Deia. “I wish I had the responsibility on occasion. Not because they had always say their leader and signed him for that, but I would have liked a little responsibility, feel valued in this regard.”
Team Sky mechanic Gary Blem talks us through his job
With Richie Porte departing Sky for BMC at the end of the season, Landa could find himself pitted head to head with former teammate Aru at the Giro in May.
His third place this year came one place behind Aru and was boosted by two consecutive stage wins in the final week, so it will be interesting to see how he fares as a protected rider.
“[Sky can offer me] something that Astana did not,” he continued. “Here they had no place to another leader and that explains making this decision. This year I've shown that I can win a grand tour and for that I need a team around me and offered me the Sky.”
Team Sky have not formally announced the signing yet, with the team’s only confirmed addition for 2016 being Alex Peters, who joined as a stagiaire in August.
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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