Mikel Landa (33 years old) He contests his last races with Bahrain, a team he joined in 2020. After four seasons he joins Remco Evenepoel’s Soudal Quick Step. Euskatel, Astana, Sky, Movistar, the aforementioned Bahrain… and now new Adventures with the Belgians. He takes part in the Vuelta, a race in which he stretched his arms in 2015 and whose main objective will be to reach a stage. The team asked him to come to the Spanish round. After the tour he told AS he needed to find “motivation” and now he’s in it.
-How does it feel?
Well… these days I suffer a little. I came to this Vuelta with doubts and also a little constipated, with some chest problems (had a bad cough these days) and it costs me more than usual.
-At the end of the tour, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, he told us that he needed to find motivation…
The head turned many times. The tour was a hard blow for me and here I want to have fun again, enjoy the bike. When that happens, it will come with a great outcome.
Do you already have this motivation?
Yes, I want to do well, win again and see if I can say goodbye to the team in the best possible way.
-When did you know you were coming to La Vuelta?
They told me about it the last week of the tour… in my head I created a different, more alternative calendar with shorter goals. The team told me La Vuelta could be good for me and now I’m here to try and do my best.
-Do you know your calendar after the Vuelta?
Not yet, but I hope it won’t be long.
-There is not much left to end his career in Bahrain. What is the balance?
It’s been four beautiful years of going through everything, even a pandemic, together. I take everything: colleagues, employees, directors… I’ve learned from other people and I’m happy.
-How is La Vuelta planned?
I already lost time in Andorra (gave up the favorite 1:29). in Javalambre (Today) I’ll push again to see where I stand, but my clear goal is to eventually reach a goal.
– Something special?
The one who is welcome will be: I’m not here to choose. Asturias are the ones that motivate me the most.
-At the Vuelta there are big favorites to win the final. How do you see it from the inside?
I think it will be a Vuelta that will take place many times. Remco looked good in the first few days but Vingegaard proved to be superior to anyone in the mountains at the Tour so he could make it for La Vuelta right? We will see.
– Do you feel a bit melancholy when you finish a stage?
I’m tired, the season is going to be long. I want to finish it and think about next year.
–And that at Evenepoel’s Soudal Quick Step, who even spoke to you about signing up.
The truth that mattered. You’re getting old, good people come from below and interest spreads to them a bit. For a team like Soudal to be interested in me and for a rider like Remco to want me at their side… it’s super important to me.
-What did they tell you when you signed up?
They want me to help Evenepoel complete the calendar of a week’s big races and races. A little bit of everything.
– What does Mikel Landa ask to say goodbye to this tour?
A joy. With joy it is worth it.