Mikel Landa Discussion Thread

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Even Jack Haig said at the beginning at the Vuelta about sharing leaderships in the team to take off some pressure on Landa's shoulders. I'm pretty sure he can still surprise us and win some big races. It would be good to see Landa&Caruso in the Giro next year.
I think Bahrain have gone in with essentially a duel leader approach in both Giro and Vuelta. Especially in La Vuelta where from the start all of Landa, Mader, Haig and Caruso were trying to do their own race. Even in TdF last year, Caruso was still going for a GC position despite being a level below the other contenders. I think they just say Landa is sole leader to take a little pressure off the others and it works as for example Caruso was barely mentioned for GC by journalists before the race despite being on the podium of the Giro just a few months ago.
In the Vuelta, yes. Their approach was a bit different, which is normal after Landa's injury and the performances of Caruso, Padun and Haig this year. But in the Giro 2021 and Tour 2020 in every interview I saw, it was all for Landa. But it's ok, I get it. The team had his numbers, they expected him to fight for the podium and they were right. He was close in the Tour and probably would have been a strong candidate for a Giro podium, too, if not for the crash.

But if you think about it (bad luck aside), since 2015 he's been riding for almost all the best GC oriented teams in the world, Astana, Sky, Movistar and Bahrain. Every year he's had a chance to ride for himself in at least one GT with strong support (in 2015 Vuelta he entered as a co-leader with Aru), despite some of those teams having stronger and more reliable riders to lean on in GTs. Yet he has no GT podium as a GC team leader. His only podium came when he was riding as a domestique and had no GC expectations.

I'm not trying to hate on Landa or anything. Far from it. I just think he is far from underrated. Heck, I believed he would have fought for the victory in this Vuelta and actually put money on him winning before the race. We, the fans always talk about him as a possible winner or at least a podium contender before the race. Also all the sites that do previews for races have him among the contenders regularly. Like I mentioned before, he's been always riding for the top teams and is being well paid. So how is he underrated exactly? Sorry, I don't see it. Now Masnada, that's another story. Probably the most underrated man on Earth.
 
what happened to Landa today?
Just don't wanna help Haig... he was free once again and he failed... once again. Working for a teammate would be too below his overhyped status of a superman.
Yeah, I know he was injured during Giro and might not be in his top shape but still he should be a good support for Haig instead of trying to win the stage and then DNF once that didn't work out (and he must've known there is no chance).
 
Last edited:
Sep 18, 2020
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There is too much panic and backlash towards Landa going on right now. I mean, the guy crashed hard in the Giro, while on at least good form and then failed to recover in time for Vuelta. When decently prepared he is still capable of beating anyone bar Pog and Rog in a 3 week race. I'm not saying that he is exactly the same quality as Bernal, Almeida or Vingegaard but they also have some question marks. So arguably he is at least in the third tier of GC riders with Carapaz, Mas, Lopez and Simon Yates and one can argue that Landa is better than the later three.
 
There is too much panic and backlash towards Landa going on right now. I mean, the guy crashed hard in the Giro, while on at least good form and then failed to recover in time for Vuelta. When decently prepared he is still capable of beating anyone bar Pog and Rog in a 3 week race. I'm not saying that he is exactly the same quality as Bernal, Almeida or Vingegaard but they also have some question marks. So arguably he is at least in the third tier of GC riders with Carapaz, Mas, Lopez and Simon Yates and one can argue that Landa is better than the later three.
His biggest problem is his time trial, which is worse than even some of the very average ones. Then there's the fact that he crashes too often/ doesn't position well. And as a climber he's neither consistent nor absolutely imperious. Actually he has a lot of weaknesses, the best thing about him is his climbing style, but you don't get extra-points for that.
 
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Landa's time trial was very good in Sky. He could have won giro 2016 and 2017. And maybe tour 2017. He also missed vuelta in 2016 due to knee injury.
His biggest problem is his time trial, which is worse than even some of the very average ones. Then there's the fact that he crashes too often/ doesn't position well. And as a climber he's neither consistent nor absolutely imperious. Actually he has a lot of weaknesses, the best thing about him is his climbing style, but you don't get extra-points for that.
 
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Landa's time trial was very good in Sky. He could have won giro 2016 and 2017. And maybe tour 2017. He also missed vuelta in 2016 due to knee injury.
He had a few good time trials in his Sky time, yes. But as far as I can remember he was never a really good time trialer. In the end - I used to be quite a fan, but today I think there always was a good deal of "if only" bias from my side involved, mostly "if only he could ride for himself", a feeling I have had with several riders, which I'm a bit more careful with today. One always feels that the helpers should get their chance, that they should be freed, once you see them stronger on one or two days than their leader. You often don't get to see their weaknesses, because, for instance if they have a bad time trial day you will think "there wasn't anything in it for him, so he didn't go all out" - sure, but would he actually have been really strong if he had to be? With the real leaders, you immediately see when they fail, when they have one weak day. And although teams are not god-like they usually have a reason to make one guy the leader and another one not.
 

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