Mikel Landa, not Chris Froome, set to lead 2017 Giro d’Italia for Team Sky

The Spaniard will attempt to right the wrongs of 2016 next year with a second attempt at the overall at the Giro

(Image credit: Watson)

Chris Froome appears to be skipping the Giro d'Italia next May on his Tour de France path with Team Sky team-mate Mikel Landa declaring his intentions to aim for the pink jersey in 2017.

Landa led Sky's 2016 Giro d'Italia team this May until stomach problems forced him to abandon mid-way through.

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"My calendar is more or less like in other seasons" with the "big goal" to shine in the Giro d'Italia," the Basque cyclist told Spain's Marca newspaper.

Landa impressed in the Chianti time trial and made a step towards wining the Italian Grand Tour. In the next stage to Sestola, after the rest day, he abandoned and left Sky looking for a plan B. The team focused on stages. Mikel Nieve won in Cividale del Friuli and gained points towards an eventual mountains classification victory.

Sky dominated the Tour de France in recent years with four titles. With the majority of its resources used in July, it has been unable to do the same in Italy. Bradley Wiggins and Richie Porte each tried. Colombian Rigoberto Urán recorded Sky's best result, a second place in 2013 behind Vincenzo Nibali.

Landa appeared up for the job given he had won two mountain stages and placed third overall helping team-mate Fabio Aru in 2015. And Sky is keeping its faith despite the 2016 abandon.

He will debut in "either the Vuelta a Andalucía or Valenciana" in early February, and already scheduled a Giro build-up with stage races "Tirreno-Adriatico, the Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino."

The Giro del Trentino, which Landa won this April, finishes only two weeks before the Giro d'Italia.

Froome indicated that he could return to the Giro d'Italia for the first time since 2010 and lead Sky.

He gave his approval of the 2017 Giro route via Twitter last month, but has since played down any chance his attempt a Giro/Tour double.

2017 appears to a copy of 2016 for Sky however, with Landa set to lead the Giro team and Froome aiming for a fourth Tour victory.

"Whether I'm going to be there [the Giro] who knows," Froome later explained while in Japan. "I think that it's unlikely given that my focus is still the Tour, but I'm definitely not going to rule it out."

Landa has begun base training at home near Murgia. He is running on the slopes of the snowy Mount Gorbea, passing time in the gym and swimming in the pool.

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