Mikel Landa admits he was lacking confidence heading into first mountain finish at Vuelta a España

It was the Spanish climber's team that controlled much of the final climb

Mikel Landa at stage three of the Vuelta
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mikel Landa revealed that he had no confidence in himself heading into stage three of the Vuelta a España 2021. 

Landa seemed like he was on top form when he sent his entire Bahrain Victorious team to the front of the peloton to pace up the Picón Blanco, with two-time Critérium du Dauphiné stage winner Mark Padun doing the lion's share of the work.

Speaking after the stage, as reported by Cycling News, Basque climber Landa said: "The stage was long and tough, with a lot of headwind - This also had consequences for the course of the stage. We decided to climb the final climb at a brisk pace to see how I felt."

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The high tempo set by the team meant that only David De La Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) put in any sort of major attack with Brit, Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) following the Spanish rider.

"The conclusion is that I am happy with the feeling and with how the final went." Landa continued. "I had no confidence in the stage at all, but I was still able to follow the best riders."

Landa managed to take ninth on the stage which moved him up into 10th in the general classification, 1-09 behind surprise leader Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and just 39 seconds behind favourite Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

"My goal is to get through the next few days as best I can and I believe in that a lot more now." He added.

"I am sure that I will improve in the coming stages. I can now believe more in my own chances."

Some race favourites such as Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo), Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech), Romain Bardet (DSM) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) all lost time to Landa and co. 

The fourth stage of the Vuelta goes from El Burgo de Osma to Molina de Aragón over a 163.9km route with a uphill sprint likely to be on the cards. GC favourites will have to stay close to the front to avoid any gaps.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.