Giro d'Italia: Landa says he is 'on the back burner' in Movistar battle

Basque star admits teammate Carapaz is stronger

Mikel Landa has admitted that he is “on the back burner” in the Giro d'Italia, with Movistar teammate Richard Carapaz stepping up a notch in the GC battle.

As things stand, Landa is currently lying 30th, at 6:42 overall behind Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), although more importantly longterm he is now nearly five minutes behind leading favourite Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma).

In comparison, Carapaz is now lying 20th, 3:16 down on Conti, and he has already won a stage for the second year running.

For Landa, who came into the race as Movistar’s top contender, seemingly in good form and with the idea of ending a run of bad luck and injuries in Grand Tours, the Giro has been very disappointing so far.

"I hoped not to lose so much time, and the Giro is looking very hard now," Landa, whose breakthrough result was third overall in the 2015 race, told Spanish sports daily AS.

"The only way I can fight back is to have better legs than I have had up to now. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) could become my two allies, as they have to attack after losing so much time in the San Marino time trial.

"In this first segment of racing, Movistar worked with me as the team leader and Richard was a protected rider. We’ve seen that he’s racing more strongly than me, so right now I’m on the back burner although I hope to change that situation.

"I just hope that I can repeat what I did in 2017 [when Landa crashed in the Blockhaus stage of the Giro but then bounced back to take a stage win - ed.] when I learned not to give up and fight all the way through to the final."

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