Mikel Landa Discussion Thread

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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.
Issue is he has been given the chance plenty of times and something always happens. He's like Kloden in my opinion, has the talent just none of the luck or ability when given the spot light.
 
Without crashes, mechanicals or illness, I think he would have won the Giro this year (or more accurately, he would have fought closely with Bernal for the win).
Genuine question: on what basis?
He was 77th in the prologue and ST as Bernal, Vlasov, Carthy and Ciccone in the only hilly stage he rode. We had yet to hit any significant mountain.

This is a rider who hasn't won a meaningful mountain stage in 3 years. What should lead me to believe he would have been able to drop Bernal or even Simon Yates during this year's Giro? I don't get it. It looks like blind faith to me.
 
Genuine question: on what basis?
He was 77th in the prologue and ST as Bernal, Vlasov, Carthy and Ciccone in the only hilly stage he rode. We had yet to hit any significant mountain.

This is a rider who hasn't won a meaningful mountain stage in 3 years. What should lead me to believe he would have been able to drop Bernal or even Simon Yates during this year's Giro? I don't get it. It looks like blind faith to me.
Bahrain. Entire team flying like maniacs I can see why a lot of them believe Landa would be flying too.

IMO he'd be like the 2020 Tour. Strong but not mythical, and snatching defeat from the jaws of the podium.
 
Genuine question: on what basis?
He was 77th in the prologue and ST as Bernal, Vlasov, Carthy and Ciccone in the only hilly stage he rode. We had yet to hit any significant mountain.

This is a rider who hasn't won a meaningful mountain stage in 3 years. What should lead me to believe he would have been able to drop Bernal or even Simon Yates during this year's Giro? I don't get it. It looks like blind faith to me.
Tirreno-Adriatico podium behind Pog and WVA and ahead of Bernal and inconsistent Simon Yates.
 
Reactions: Ilmaestro99
Genuine question: on what basis?
He was 77th in the prologue and ST as Bernal, Vlasov, Carthy and Ciccone in the only hilly stage he rode. We had yet to hit any significant mountain.

This is a rider who hasn't won a meaningful mountain stage in 3 years. What should lead me to believe he would have been able to drop Bernal or even Simon Yates during this year's Giro? I don't get it. It looks like blind faith to me.
Landa would have beaten Yates who was getting dropped fairly often especially in the wet. I think a Bahrain rider would have won the Giro if Landa was there, not specifying who.
 
I guess the problem for Landismo is he is now at that Purito/Quintana/Pozzovivo level of being a pure climber who can't outclimb the more complete gc riders.

Looking back, it seems like the move to Movistar initiated that.

In 2015 we found a jewel of a mythical climber who was maybe the best in the world, on Contador's and Quintana's level. But who needed to improve his TT. Then he joined Sky and the TT improved, and he had the capability to win a GT. But his grand tours there were ruined by illness, crashes or having to play teammate.

Since the Movistar move he never quite hit the same level. 2019 Giro he found it on the Lagu Serru stage, but he was already down because of a crash, and the next day Carapaz took the Maglia with a great attack and game over for Landa.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Genuine question: on what basis?
He was 77th in the prologue and ST as Bernal, Vlasov, Carthy and Ciccone in the only hilly stage he rode. We had yet to hit any significant mountain.

This is a rider who hasn't won a meaningful mountain stage in 3 years. What should lead me to believe he would have been able to drop Bernal or even Simon Yates during this year's Giro? I don't get it. It looks like blind faith to me.
Blind faith mostly (as you say, there's not much else to base it on).

He had a good prep and the whole team was flying. From what I recall, he and Bernal made the best impression on stage 4.
 
Sep 18, 2020
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Actually Landa is one of the most consistent GC riders. He is always there in the mountains, usually attacking or in the front group. He is simply a bad time-trialist and crashes a lot, which is hardly ever his fault (however he probably does not have enough abilities to make saves like Bernal or Nibali).

Another thing is that he is a pure GT specialist and rarely looks good in one week races with top competition (with exceptions of 2018 Basque Country) a bit like late Nibali and Carapaz. It probably makes him look less consistent as we don't have too much opportunities to see him at his best. Landa always looked good at the Tour after doing the Giro, whether he was riding for GC or not, so it's safe to say recovery is his big advantage.

On the side note. Any Vuelta without multi mountain stage in Andorra or Pyrenees should not be considered a Grand Tour. I can't look at Asturian stages with 40km of flats and descents between not even particulary long climbs. I mean it's easier for a climber to initiate action on Muro di Sormano in Lombardia than on Vuelta routes last 2 years.
 
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