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Landa: I'll fight for every second in the Tour de France

Some old wounds never truly heal. After missing out on a place on the 2017 Tour de France podium by a second, Mikel Landa (Movistar) has promised  he won’t let such an opportunity go by again.

Although a stage victory at the Tour de France is always important, Landa argued that at this point in his career; “I think the podium matters a bit more than a stage. And I’ll fight for every second to try to get it.”

Despite his ability and well-known aggression, Landa has only once secured a Grand Tour podium finish, back in the 2015 Giro d’Italia.

Currently seventh overall, Landa says that he will “go on dreaming until the last day” and he does not rule out anything, not even going for overall victory.

“That’ll be hard, but I will try,” he said during the second rest day press conference in Nimes, with his moment with the media held separately to that of of Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana.

“Anything can happen. We’ve seen [race leader Julian] Alaphilippe weaken, [Geraint] Thomas isn’t as good as he was. [Thibaut] Pinot is very strong, though. The Tour’s not yet decided.”

Landa says he will not settle for his current position overall, convinced he can make up the 2:09 he lost due to a late crash on stage 10 to Albi and more.  

“It means I’m obliged to do things like my breakaway to try to recoup my losses but that’s how I like to race," he said. "Every cloud has a silver lining, after a lot of bad luck, I’m on a good streak now.”

His only regret about Sunday’s attack, he said, “was that Pinot didn’t come with me. If he had done, we’d have gained a lot more time.” 

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Alasdair Fotheringham
Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.