Mortirolo grants another opportunity to Mikel Landa

As much as you look, there are no calamities to take to the body this time.

Mortirolo grants another opportunity to Mikel Landa

As much as you look, there are no calamities to take to the body this time. It is an almost essential habit for Mikel Landa to get damaged in some way in the grand tours and then force himself to come back. Always from pain to the edge of the impossible. It is Landa and the essence of his 'landismo', according to which the result is not so important, which he almost never achieves, but the way of approaching it, the beauty of the cyclist flapping through the mountains, attacking, without thinking about it. But the Vitorian is in unknown territory: no misfortune has befallen him in the Giro, and he enters regularly and orderly in the third week, 59 seconds behind the leader Carapaz, and this Tuesday the most famous port in Italy, Mortirolo, give a new chance.

All too beautiful to be true.

Forecasts cannot be made with Mikel Landa, not at least from the logic. A great protagonist of the Spanish cycling desert since the retirement of Alberto Contador, the Vitorian has starred in all kinds of praise and favorable forecasts that have almost always collided with the reality of the results: he has only climbed on the podium once in 16 participations between Giro, Tour and Return.

It was in 2015, third in the edition that Contador won and relegated by his teammate Fabio Aru, third. Landa was then exuberant, two high-mountain stages, dominant in the Mortirolo, put great pressure on Contador in a hard fight with the orders of his team, which boosted Aru.

A constant in Landa's life, claiming freedom to lead a team without having shown great leadership. He succeeded him in Astana (Aru), in Sky (Froome, four Tours), in Movistar (Nairo, Valverde) and also now in Bahrain. Landa is much better on the counterattack and free than in command of a team.

The Slovenians Pogacar and Roglic are not at the Giro, but Richard Carapaz (who has already won Giro 19) and a surprising cyclist, Jay Hindley (second in Giro 20). Runners who are not superior to Landa in the mountains, although Carapaz has more than shown a highly estimable mental solidity.

"We are in the third week, we are one minute below the pink jersey and I think that so far the Giro has gone as expected," declared the Spaniard on the third day of rest.

« The Torino stage was very tough, but it wasn't for me. I think that the stages that are coming are better suited to me, “explained the Spaniard. “The Aprica stage will be super tough. Santa Cristina is a very steep climb, and after 5,000m of climbing it will be even more difficult for sure. My experiences with the Mortirolo have always been good. I have good memories of Aprica and Mortirolo, so that's extra motivation."

Mortirolo was famous for decades as the hardest asphalted cycling port in the world. Until Angliru and Zoncolan arrived, Mortirolo was a place of pilgrimage for cycling lovers. This Tuesday you do not go up the narrow steep road from Mazzo di Valtellina, but from Edolo, somewhat smoother (12.7 kilometers at an average gradient of 7.6 percent) but equally decisive. Or at least you hope so, Landa.

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