Mikel Landa: I was too impulsive for Team Sky

Landa says his style of racing wasn't always compatible with the controlled style of Sky

Mikel Landa

(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Basque Rider Mikel Landa feels his impulsive style of racing isn't always compatible with Team Sky, who like "to have everything controlled."

Landa will race with Spain's WorldTour Movistar team in 2018, first closing out 2017 with races like the Il Lombardia.

>>> Mikel Landa excited to go head-to-head with ‘best in the world’ Chris Froome in 2018

"It's not easy," Landa said in a Eurosport interview when asked about racing in Team Sky.

"It's a team that likes to have everything very controlled, very tied up, and maybe I'm a little different rider than that. I like to follow my impulses a little, to move more by feelings and sometimes we are not compatible."

Landa, however, delivered Sky a summit stage win and the mountains overall classification in the Giro d'Italia and turned around to help Chris Froome take a fourth Tour de France title.

Early on in the Tour de France this July, it seemed as though Sky needed to reel in the 27-year-old while Froome was still coming up to speed.

Some followers questioned if Landa should have led Team Sky in the early days of the Tour. He showed his loyalty despite already having agreed to join Movistar and placed fourth overall, just one second from third place behind Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).

"The truth is that my performance was a surprise," he said of the Giro and Tour. "I came from racing the Giro, I did not know how I would respond and as the days went by, I improved."

After the Tour, Landa won the Vuelta a Burgos overall. He is returning after a break to close his career in Sky's black and blue in races Milan-Turin, Il Lombardia and new Chinese race, the Tour of Guangxi.

Sky signed Landa following his work for Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru in team Astana. Landa placed third overall behind Contador and Aru in second in the 2015 Giro.

This summer, he said he wanted to be in a position to call the shots in 2018 and not be plan B. Movistar after the Tour announced that they agreed to a two-year deal.

"I have been abroad for a few years now, with few opportunities," continued Landa. "Now, I'm able to go to a Spanish team and have the opportunity to lead it in the best races in the world."

He will join forces with an ageing, but still strong Alejandro Valverde and grand tour star Nairo Quintana. It is uncertain how Movistar will manage the same high-calibre riders under one umbrella.

"It is an incentive. There are many races and we will try to divide them the best we can. Some of us will agree, others will not, but the calendar is long, the year is long."

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