Mikel Landa’s will miss the Vuelta a España 2018, starting August 25, his Movistar team have confirmed, after injuries suffered in crashes in the Tour de France and Clásica San Sebastián.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
The Spanish WorldTour team announced on Monday that their star Landa, seventh in the Tour, will not take part with other team leaders. Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana should lead the team, while Richard Carapaz is due to take Landa’s spot on the team’s eight-man roster.
Landa could race the Tour of Britain, starting September 2, ahead of the World Championships.
“We’ve fought the hardest we could during the last 15 days, trying to make sure Mikel could reach a high degree of recovery, but it wasn’t possible,” said team boss Eusebio Unzué.
“He’s gone through good and bad moments during these two weeks, but we had to make a choice, he just doesn’t have sufficient guarantees to go and take the start of the Vuelta.”
He suffered fractures in the Clásica San Sebastián – two vertebrae and ribs – that made recovering from the Tour de France impossible.
He fell in the final 20 kilometres of the Basque one-day classic with a group including Tony Gallopin (Ag2r La Mondiale), Pierre Latour (Ag2r La Mondiale), Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo). Landa and Egan Bernal (Sky) were worse off.
Sky’s Colombian star suffered a fractured nose and a jaw injury that required surgery.
Landa tried training, but was not able to ride for more than an hour due to the pain.
“Pain in the lumbar zone of his back after the fracture, added to the two broken ribs he suffered in San Sebastián, have combined to make it unfeasible to go to Málaga with the health and fitness he needed,” Unzué added.
“We will now focus on making sure he recovers completely, and after that, we’ll evaluate if he feels fit enough to take the start of the Tour of Britain. It’s an eight-day competition, and it’s also a very intense race.
“If he’s able to race there, we think he might gain the form he needs so he can be eligible for the Spanish national team in the World Championships.”