Mikel Landa Discussion Thread

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Reminds me a bit of the injuries Jurgen Van den Broeck suffered in the 2011 Tour. He also had a punctured lung and broken scapula on top of that if i recall. He crashed on the 10th of July and the Vuelta started on the 20th of August (40 days later). While he wasn't bad in that Vuelta (8th in GC), he actually gave a very good impression in the Tour when he crashed. It was the only year i actually though he could have contended for yellow.

Anyway, JVdB's injuries were slightly worse but Landa has about the same timeframe to get ready for the Tour... or skip it and go for the Vuelta.
 
I want to see him go to tour maybe not at his best , not rush the preparation, and go for stages. Imagine Landismo victory on Luz Ardiden. Then go to Vuelta for GC. He can do it. And he hasn't done vuelta since 2015 even though he planned it in 2016 and 2018. Mostly lets hope he is healthy and happy.
 
Sep 27, 2020
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This is so frustrating. He has great legs, climbs like an angel, and that f's it up in a flat stage like literally every time.

By now you can't call it bad luck or anything, he is just unable to stay on a bike for 3 consecutive weeks. In the end it is what separates winners from also-rans. And he definitely fits the mould of the latter alongside a whole bunch of GT hopefuls who crash out or some limitation.

btw I have never seen Landa race the Vuelta for the GC. I would love to see it but for a guy whose chances of winning a GT are very, very limited he sure made a circle around his home GT.
 
No more giro for me, they have to do something about the flat stages in GT’s. You can’t ignore the fact that each year several contenders are out of the race before it even starts. This cost the teams à LOT of money.

Sure it is Racing but I don’t agree that a strong team, luck or a little better positioning in the bunch is considering someone a better cyclist than someone who puts minutes on the other during the MTFs.
Uh, what would you suggest they do?
 
First post of this thread from 2015. Sigh. Another opportunity lost.
Since the 2015 giro podium its incredible how many opportunity lost for Mikel
-2015 Vuelta wins the queen stage but not doing gc
-2016 giro first GT as leader and gets stomach bug and DNF. Goes to TDF and ride for froome, misses vuelta due to knee injury.
-2017 Giro in a stunning form, loses the GC challenge when kelderman hit the moto. Then missed TDF podium by 1 seconds after losing time working for froome, stonger than bardet and Uran.
-2018 TDF not at his best with movistar, lost a minute on the cobble stage after stupid crash. Then missed Vuelta and Innsbruck after crashing in San Sebastian
-2019 Giro 4th Overall, missed podium in final ITT, lost time in crash on stage 4 that took out dumoulin. Then in TDF again a super strong legs but losing time in the crosswinds after getting crashed by barguil.
-2020 TDF a solid performance 4th overall but lost 1 min 20 in the crosswinds on stage 7.
-now crashing himself out of 2021 giro when he had the form of his life and a perfect route for him. No fault of his again.

So much bad luck, misfortune, missed opportunites.

Its funny how things turn out, when he burst onto the scene in 2015 you think he will be another Nibali/contador/pantani, instead he is more a Pinot in terms of palmares. The results don't tell the story of his talent and I don't know how many opportunities left.
 
Since the 2015 giro podium its incredible how many opportunity lost for Mikel
-2015 Vuelta wins the queen stage but not doing gc
-2016 giro first GT as leader and gets stomach bug and DNF. Goes to TDF and ride for froome, misses vuelta due to knee injury.
-2017 Giro in a stunning form, loses the GC challenge when kelderman hit the moto. Then missed TDF podium by 1 seconds after losing time working for froome, stonger than bardet and Uran.
-2018 TDF not at his best with movistar, lost a minute on the cobble stage after stupid crash. Then missed Vuelta and Innsbruck after crashing in San Sebastian
-2019 Giro 4th Overall, missed podium in final ITT, lost time in crash on stage 4 that took out dumoulin. Then in TDF again a super strong legs but losing time in the crosswinds after getting crashed by barguil.
-2020 TDF a solid performance 4th overall but lost 1 min 20 in the crosswinds on stage 7.
-now crashing himself out of 2021 giro when he had the form of his life and a perfect route for him. No fault of his again.

So much bad luck, misfortune, missed opportunites.

Its funny how things turn out, when he burst onto the scene in 2015 you think he will be another Nibali/contador/pantani, instead he is more a Pinot in terms of palmares. The results don't tell the story of his talent and I don't know how many opportunities left.
His Giro 2015 is still the highest point of his career in my opinion.
In the Vuelta that year he was a co-leader with Aru going into the race, if I remember correctly, but he had a bad day in one of the early stages, so he ended up working for Aru, who won in the end.

A question. Why do you say he's been in the form of his life this year? Any special evidence? No result suggested that before the Giro. And also while it was exciting to see him attack first of the top guys, he was one of the 5 best climbers of the day, which is the level he is on in pretty much every GT he has raced in the last 5 years.
 
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First post of this thread from 2015. Sigh. Another opportunity lost.
2015 seems so long ago. To be honest, I think one of the main reasons Landa was rated so highly for such a long time was that he seemed to be climbing on the same level as Contador who at the time was still thought of as the best climber in the world (after all he probably still was in 2014). I think the consensus now is that Contador wasn't the best climber in the world anymore in 2015 and Landa therefore likely not the 2nd best either, but that aura of the guy capable of challenging the untouchable Contador was still around for a while.
 
2015 seems so long ago. To be honest, I think one of the main reasons Landa was rated so highly for such a long time was that he seemed to be climbing on the same level as Contador who at the time was still thought of as the best climber in the world (after all he probably still was in 2014). I think the consensus now is that Contador wasn't the best climber in the world anymore in 2015 and Landa therefore likely not the 2nd best either, but that aura of the guy capable of challenging the untouchable Contador was still around for a while.
And at that time many feel that Contador, Aru, Vino, the whole universe, and its neighbour ganged up on him and his quest to be the next mythical climber, the sentiment remains in some form and the legend began
 
2015 seems so long ago. To be honest, I think one of the main reasons Landa was rated so highly for such a long time was that he seemed to be climbing on the same level as Contador who at the time was still thought of as the best climber in the world (after all he probably still was in 2014). I think the consensus now is that Contador wasn't the best climber in the world anymore in 2015 and Landa therefore likely not the 2nd best either, but that aura of the guy capable of challenging the untouchable Contador was still around for a while.
He was the best climber in the world in 2017. In 2016 he had a lot of illness and injury se we didn't see his best. But 2017 he was by far the strongest climber (up there with Porte and Froome). His level went down slightly at Movistar but at the 2019 Tour he was flying on the low altitude mountain stages, just again playing catch up.

Aside from the ridiculous bad luck, he always performs better in contract years, which this year is, so I was expecting big things. Of course it means doping but I couldn't pick any top level world tour GC rider who had a chance of being 'clean' (whatever this means).

If life was fair 2017 TDF would be a battle between him, froome and Porte
 
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He was the best climber in the world in 2017. In 2016 he had a lot of illness and injury se we didn't see his best. But 2017 he was by far the strongest climber (up there with Porte and Froome). His level went down slightly at Movistar but at the 2019 Tour he was flying on the low altitude mountain stages, just again playing catch up.

Aside from the ridiculous bad luck, he always performs better in contract years, which this year is, so I was expecting big things. Of course it means doping but I couldn't pick any top level world tour GC rider who had a chance of being 'clean' (whatever this means).

If life was fair 2017 TDF would be a battle between him, froome and Porte
Froome didn't really hit his top form until 1st week of La Vuelta which was probably a higher level than Landa.
 
2015 seems so long ago. To be honest, I think one of the main reasons Landa was rated so highly for such a long time was that he seemed to be climbing on the same level as Contador who at the time was still thought of as the best climber in the world (after all he probably still was in 2014). I think the consensus now is that Contador wasn't the best climber in the world anymore in 2015 and Landa therefore likely not the 2nd best either, but that aura of the guy capable of challenging the untouchable Contador was still around for a while.
Contador wasn't the best climber in 2015, but I also think he now gets underrated cause of how *** in he was in the 2015 Tour and how bad the decision was to go there. It's hard to say how much Contador was affected by crashes in that Giro, and outside of him and Landa the field was weak, etc. We do know that Contador was flying on Hazallanas in February already
 
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And at that time many feel that Contador, Aru, Vino, the whole universe, and its neighbour ganged up on him and his quest to be the next mythical climber, the sentiment remains in some form and the legend began
True although to be fair, Landa has indeed been very unlucky throughout his career. Astana clearly wanted to make Aru their star for the future, undoubtedly giving him preferential treatment even when Landa had proven to be stronger. Like, calling Landa back on the Finestre stage is still unbelievable for me today.

The next year Landa lost his only ever chance to lead Sky at a gt due to a stomach bug, so in 2017 he was already degradated to co-leader alongside Thomas before only being a dom for Froome at the Tour, when he had the shape to at least podium both races. He therefore leaves Sky to join Movistar where he was again only co-leader next to Quintana and Valverde. Subsequently he rides the Giro to be the sole leader of the team again, just for Carapaz to arise as a genuine gt threat out of nowhere, taking pink due to being underrated so Landa is only 2nd in the pecking order again.

The thing is, as unlucky as he was, all of those stories only spurred on the talks of what Landa could achieve if only he was freed for once when the reality is, not that much more probably. We have seen that whenever he actually was "freed" he still couldn't drop anyone at will like the 2nd coming of Pantani, as some had hoped. It's just that he was always so overqualified in the role of the co-leader, the domestique or the stage hunter, that whenever he was in those positions he looked so much better than anyone else with a similar role, that people falsely concluded he was just the strongest climber of the race altogether.

It's weird. It's an unlucky career where so many things fell into place to consistently support this narrative of the legendary climber who could never really show what he was capable of and yesterdays crash will only add to that. I have written it before, I don't think he would have won this giro anyway, but I do think we will be missing out on some spectacular rides by him. Let's hope he will be back at his best in the Vuelta. Maybe this time he will end up co-leader to the suddenly emerging gc threat Hermann Pernsteiner. A man can dream.
 
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