David Lopez replaces Mikel Landa in Team Sky Vuelta a España line-up

The Basque rider was set to start a third Grand Tour of the year but has pulled out after aggravating an injury to his hip

David Lopez Garcia on stage five of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Mikel Landa will be replaced by fellow Basque rider David Lopez in the Team Sky Vuelta a España line-up. after he was forced to withdraw from the squad with injury.

Landa, who started the Giro d'Italia before abandoning and completed the Tour de France in support of Chris Froome, was due to start his home race but an MRI scan revealed the extent of an injury to his hip and the team chose to replace him in the line-up.

>>> Vuelta a España 2016 start list

Lopez, who won a stage of Vuelta in 2010, will now link up with the squad ahead of the opening team time trial on Saturday. It's the 35-year-old's 15th Grand Tour, having completed the Giro earlier this year.

"Mikel told us that he had been suffering with discomfort in his hip and upper leg," said Team Sky doctor Inigo Sarriegui. "We sent him for a scan but have decided that the best thing at this stage is to take Mikel out of the Vuelta line up.

"Obviously he is disappointed, but starting a Grand Tour when you are already experiencing pain from an injury risks aggravating it further and could cause more problems."

26-year-old Landa, who took stage victory on the mountainous stage to Andorra in last year's Vuelta, says he was disappointed to be forced to miss the year's final Grand Tour.

>>> Too brutal for sprinters: Teams prepare their climbers for mountainous Vuelta a España

"I'm disappointed to have to withdraw from the team, especially so close to the start of the race," Landa said.

"I was motivated to perform well at the Vuelta, but the pain I have had means I wouldn't be ready to perform at my best. We have agreed that it's best for me to focus on recovering properly so I can get fit and get back to racing.

"We have a strong team for the Vuelta and I'm very disappointed that I won't be there, but I wish the guys good luck and know they will have a great race.”

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).