Comments pre-Ruta del Sol
Movistar Team’s biggest recruit for 2018 to wear his new colours for the first time Vuelta a Andalucía, starting on Wednesday.
The wait is over for Mikel Landa’s debut with the Movistar Team jersey. The Basque rider will line up at the 64th Vuelta a Andalucía, starting on Wednesday, with an aim to perform at a decent level despite his lack of racing. These were the Murgia native’s reflections on what’s to come, just 48 hours before pinning a number on his back again.
DEBUT AND PREPARATIONS
“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. 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.”
TRAINING CAMP IN MALLORCA
“I went to Mallorca with some of my team-mates in the last week of January. We put on some serious pace in the hills, and seeing them being so prepared for racing, I really got in the mood for some competition – that’s why I’m so keen to do well in Mallorca. I also shared a lot of time there with Alejandro (Valverde). It’s been a spectacular start of the season for him, especially considering his serious injuries last summer. He had good legs in training, but that’s one thing and the other is confirming them in the races, seeing where you really are. I got really happy when I saw him winning so early in the season in Valencia.”
VUELTA A ANDALUCÍA
“It will be difficult to go for victory in Andalucía, because there are many contenders who have already built some racing form. 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.”
“After Andalucía, I’ll be racing Tirreno-Adriatico in March and then head to the Vuelta al País Vasco in April, where I’m supposed to be doing really well and chasing success. Then’, I’d like to return to the Ardennes classics, which I haven’t raced since 2012. Those are races whose profile and terrain I like, and learning by the side of Alejandro is a great thing. I think I should be in good condition in Tirreno already, but my main goal is reaching my best form in País Vasco and the Ardennes.”