The Spanish cyclist has sparked a fundamental debate about justice in professional cycling.
Mikel Landa, Spanish cyclist from the Bahrain Victorius team, made an explosive statement at La Vuelta a España 2023 that shocked the cycling world. His open criticism of the Dutch team Jumbo has sparked a heated debate about fairness and competition in two-wheeled sports.
Amid the seemingly general mood in the peloton, Mikel Landa spoke candidly on Jumbo’s behavior at the 2023 Vuelta a España. According to Landa, Jumbo is systematically blocking the races, which has resulted in the competition becoming monotonous and, in his own words, “boring”.
Mikel Landa doesn’t bite his tongue against Dutch team Jumbo
The Spanish cyclist was not sparing in his criticism of the Dutch team, pointing out that they were ranked in the top three in the overall standings and that their strength in the race allows them to fend off any attempt to escape from other competitors. According to Landa, this strategy has a negative impact on the excitement and competitiveness of the Vuelta.
Furthermore, he expressed his frustration at the lack of opportunities to excel due to this blockage. He even mentioned that his teammate Santiago Buitrago was struggling to win stages as he faced stiff competition in the breakaway group with three cyclists who arrived ahead of him. Let’s remember that currently the The Spanish cyclist is in seventh place overall, 4 minutes and 12 seconds behind American leader Sepp Kuss.
Claims for salary regulations
Against this background, it was not only Mikel Landa who spoke out against Jumbo’s strategy. Many voices in the world of cycling are calling for intervention by the International Cycling Federation (UCI) regarding team salary costs. It is argued that teams like Jumbo, which have significant purchasing power, can afford to monopolize racing by recruiting the best drivers.
The suggestion is to limit Spend on team salaries to level the playing field and promote more exciting and fair competition. This is not the first time this issue has been discussed, but the current controversy has fueled the debate and led many to believe that it is time to take concrete action. Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the cycling world is more vibrant than ever thanks to the warm words of Mikel Landa.
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