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by Shane Stokes
February 13, 2018
Landa begins Movistar competitive career at the Vuelta a Andalucia; Majka accused of doping by former teammate; Excited Martin gets season underway in Volta ao Algarve; Rowe to return to racing this month after fracturing 25 bones in his leg; Novo Nordisk rider celebrating historic result for team; Finish Line introduces longer-lasting tubeless tire sealant; Video: Fernando Gaviria and his love for tattoos; Video: Katerina Nash: Rider & President of the UCI Athletes’ Commission; Video: Peter Sagan crashes…into soft foam cubes
Following strong performances at Team Sky, Mikel Landa will get things underway with his new Movistar team at the Vuelta a Andalucia on Wednesday. The Basque climber will be backed by Andrey Amador, Jorge Arcas, Carlos Barbero, Héctor Carretero, Imanol Erviti and Marc Soler, and hopes to impress.
“This will be a very special race for me. New colours, new ambitions… and I’d like to start this off in a good way, to make things easier for everyone and bring some joy to the rest of the team,” he said. “It’s been a rough winter if you consider the cold temperatures we’ve had in the Basque Country. I’ve had to go elsewhere to build a good base for the harder training blocks, and that’s why I’ve moved to Calpe, in the Alicante coast, for most of the offseason. There has been good weather there, so we didn’t have any excuses to fulfil the work plan we were supposed to follow.”
The race will include hilltop finishes on Thursday and Saturday, as well as a 14 kilometre individual time trial on the final day.
“It will be difficult to go for victory in Andalucía, because there are many contenders who have already built some racing form,” he said. “Some of them started in Australia, others have been competing in Mallorca and Valencia… However, I’ve done good training, I feel myself in good form, and even if I lack that tiny bit of energy from no racing, I think I can be up there with the best.
“I don’t know the whole route, but I did watch the Allanadas climb on TV when the race finished there in 2012. The final time trial seems like the key point in this year’s race. We will go day-by-day and see what we can do.”