Landa Seizes Opportunity But Carapaz Remains Leader At Giro D'Italia

Mikel Landa on the attack late during stage 17 at the Giro

Mikel Landa has been here before, itching for freedom but hemmed in by team duties. The Basque is arguably the strongest climber on this Giro d’Italia but he finds himself cutting his cloth to fit the needs of his Movistar teammate, the maglia rosa Richard Carapaz. On the 2015 Giro, Landa lit up the final week before his challenge unravelled when he was ordered to sacrifice his chances in favour of Astana teammate Fabio Aru. On the 2017 Tour de France, his aggression was reined in just as he was climbing more fluidly than his Team Sky leader Chris Froome. ‘Free Landa’ went the slogan, and Landa even dressed in prisoner’s garb for a Halloween party to hammer home the point. He duly transferred to Movistar in search of liberty at the end of that season, though the presence of Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde suggested that autonomy was by ...

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