Mikel Landa hoping for quick return after crash in first race of the season

The Grand Tour contender’s 2019 has opened with disappointment

Mikel Landa at the 2018 Tour de Suisse (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Movistar’s joint leader Mikel Landa is hoping for a quick return to racing after he crashed out of his first race of 2019.

Landa, who is set to target both the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia this season, was caught up in a crash in the closing kilometres of Challenge Mallorca.

The Basque came down with 15km to go in the first of four one-day races on the Spanish island, suffering a broken collarbone in the fall.

He is expected to undergo surgery within 48 hours of the crash, which happened on Thursday (January 31).

Landa has not finished a race since the final stage of the Tour de France last summer, failing to complete his last seven races due to crashes.

The 29-year-old told Ciclo21: “I’m f**ked up and sad, because I also ended last year on the ground, but you have to look forward.

“The year has just started and I will return. I don’t want to give it any more thought, it has already happened.”

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Landa formed part of Movistar’s ‘trident’ approach to the Tour de France, alongside compatriot Alejandro Valverde and Colombian Nairo Quintana.

He was the Spanish WorldTour team’s best finisher in 2018, rolling across the line in Paris seventh overall and almost eight minutes down on winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).

Movistar are abandoning the triple-threat approach this season, instead sending Landa to the Giro with Valverde and then the Tour with Quintana.

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The former Team Sky domestique added: “The main objectives of the year are not changed.

“Now we will have to work a little harder to recover and return sooner, but the Giro and the Tour are not in danger.”

Landa hopes to recover quickly from surgery and be back on his bike in around two weeks time.

The opening day of Challenge Majorca was won by Cofidis rider Jesús Herrada, followed by Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Group Gobert) and Trek-Segafredo’s Bauke Mollema.

Valverde came in fourth.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.