Giro d’Italia: Mikel Landa loses time but vows to fight for the maglia rosa
Bahrain Victorious rider loses over 30 seconds to his main GC rivals and now sits 59 seconds off the race lead.
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Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) was dropped in the closing kilometers of stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia following pressure from Bora-Hansgrohe and an attack from Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers).
Unable to live with the pace set by the leading quartet – comprising Carapaz, Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana-Qasaqstan), eventual stage winner Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) – Landa finished in seventh place on the stage and lost 36 seconds to his GC rivals.
He now sits fourth overall, 59 seconds behind the maglia rosa of Carapaz.
Also read: Giro d’Italia: Which GC riders lost time on sensational stage 14
“Today’s stage has been very hard from the start,” Landa said after the finish. “A few kilometres before the circuit Bora took control of the race and they set a very hard pace, uphill and also downhill.”
“There were some splits, and it has been quite nervous and difficult to do the first lap.”
As the race made its way through the final circuit, Carapaz attacked 28km from the finish, just before the leading group crested the Superga climb.
Landa, like the rest of the group, was initially unable to respond and settled into a rhythm behind the front of the race.
Ten kilometers later, however, Nibali, Hindley and Yates bridged across to Carapaz while Landa was unable to follow.
João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and Domenico Pozzovivio (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) also sprang clear of the Spaniard.
“At the end I didn’t feel very good,” Landa said. “Fortunately I had Pello [Bilbao] next to me and thanks to his work I think we didn’t lose too much. We only lost about 30 seconds to the [other] contenders so we are still in the fight for the pink jersey.”
Tomorrow, the Giro climbs even higher as it enters the Alps and tackles a stage containing three mountains and 4,000 meters of climbing.
“For sure it is harder than yesterday but still half the mountain stages are to come and we will try for sure,” Landa said.