Settimana Coppi e Bartali (st. 2)
Basque climber from Movistar Team puts end to long year, full of misfortune, after his 2018 Tirreno stage success; wins Settimana Coppi e Bartali day two to now sit in 4th place overall.
Just five days after his return to racing following nearly two months of stop after an injury in his 2019 debut in Mallorca, Mikel Landa offered the Movistar Team a very pleasant surprise with a win at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, more than a year after his first ever success in Blue at the 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico.
The Basque climber, well supported by his team-mates in a short, yet very tough 140km stage two (five rated ascents), attacked, following a previous attempt by Rubén Fernández, on the slopes of the decisive Monte Tiffi (4.5km, 7.5% avg.), taking with him Lucas Hamilton (MTS), a colleague of then-race leader Robert Stannard. The 40″ gap achieved by Landa at the top of the GPM kept him away, despite late attempts from counter-attacker Evgeny Shalunov (GAZ), to successfully contest the uphill finish on the cobblestones of Sogliano al Rubicone.
Landa thus claims the men’s Blue lineup’s sixth victory of the 2019 season, and now sits in 4th spot overall with two grueling, hilly stages still to go in Italy, on Friday (Forlí) and Sunday (Sassuolo).
REACTION / Mikel Landa:
“I saw myself able to conduct such an action from the last climb and all the way to the finish, and I was calm and confident because I had a strong team by my side, with so many team-mates together who could also ‘block’ the race behind if the peloton approached at the descent. I knew I could make it and I only wanted the race situation to allow myself giving it a try. I’ve got through so many difficult injuries, including last January’s Mallorca crash and collarbone fracture, and I know it takes so long and requires so many efforts to make it back. This victory pays off all those efforts and gives me a lot of confidence. I know now I’m on the right path, and I can still do well in the Giro. Max and the sports directors trust me more than I even do on myself. They see I train well, but a rider always tends to feel frightened about oneself, because training and racing into a big peloton are two very different things when it comes to pace and also danger. The team has supported me all the way since Wednesday morning, put a lot of faith in me and now we all enjoy this together.”
Cover picture (c): Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto
- 01 Mikel Landa Movistar Team 3h51'54"
- 02 Lucas Hamilton Mitchelton-Scott +1"
- 03 Alexander Kamp Riwal Readynez +11"
- 17 Winner Anacona Movistar Team "
- 19 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team "
- 20 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team "
- 38 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +1'05"
- 39 Eduardo Sepúlveda Movistar Team "
- — Daniele Bennati Movistar Team DNF
- 01 Lucas Hamilton Mitchelton-Scott 6h23'33"
- 02 Damien Howson Mitchelton-Scott +16"
- 03 Nick Schultz Mitchelton-Scott "
- 04 Mikel Landa Movistar Team +22"
- 12 Winner Anacona Movistar Team +43"
- 13 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team "
- 14 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team "
- 30 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +1'37"
- 31 Eduardo Sepúlveda Movistar Team "