Landa eclipses Aru on the Mortirolo

Mikel Landa's decision to eschew the diplomatic answer made for a refreshing change of pace in the mixed zone in Aprica following his victory on stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia, where the debate of the day concerned maglia rosa Alberto Contador's puncture on the descent ahead of the Mortirolo, and the rights and wrongs of Astana's and Katusha's decision not to relax their pace on the front.

"We were all together as a team. We saw Contador's problem and we tried to keep things difficult," Landa said matter-of-factly when the question was put to him, seemingly unfazed by the consequences of such truth-telling. Perhaps polemica eventually dulls to mere elevator muzak. "I believe that we caused him some pain to catch us. Katusha broke up the group and went full gas, and we collaborated with them."

"Yes," Landa said simply, before adding: "But there are two easier days coming up so we'll try to recover a bit and make the race together."

Click here to watch more Giro d'Italia race highlights.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.