Mikel Landa: Sky and me weren't always compatible

As Mikel Landa prepares to say goodbye to Team Sky, with just three races left on his calendar, the Spaniard has admitted that the British outfit was not the best fit for him.

Landa joined Sky in 2016 after two seasons at Astana but, as was the case at the Kazakh squad, at key moments he felt he was forced to put his attacking instincts and personal ambitions on hold. The tensions were laid bare at the Tour de France, where Landa soared up the standings but was placed at the disposal of Chris Froome, eventually finishing a solitary second off the podium as his teammate won the yellow jersey.

"It wasn't easy," Landa said of his time at Sky, speaking in an interview in Wednesday's edition of Spanish newspaper AS.

"It's a squad with quite a rigid mentality, where they like to have even the most minor elements under control. I consider myself a different kind of rider to that. I prefer to follow my impulses, and at times we were not compatible."

Landa declined to view his move to Movistar as a 'liberation', though he did say it was "an incentive, a motivation to achieve more".

"I did some great things with Sky and I thank them for the confidence they placed in me," he added, "but after four seasons abroad, with few opportunities, I want the responsibility of leading the only Spanish WorldTour team."

Leadership is a key word for Landa. While his duty to work for Fabio Aru reduced him to tears at the 2015 Giro d'Italia, at Sky he had to share captaincy with Geraint Thomas at this year's Giro, and at the Tour de France he once again found himself in a position where he could feasibly have won the race, but wasn't able to go for it.

"That won't happen to me again," Landa asserted.

That said, the presence of two established stars at Movistar in Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, would seem to provide potential for the nightmare to replay.

"No, not at all," countered Landa "If we split the calendar between us all then there won't be any problems, although we've not yet spoken about it.

"When the season's over we'll get together at the annual training camp and there I'll get to know the people and the set-up at Movistar. I'll be one of the new guys."

Landa said that he and the team would have to wait for the routes of the 2018 Giro d'Italia and Tour de France to be unveiled later this month before calendar decisions are made, but hinted that he could be the leader who goes to Italy.

"I want to take time to analyse what happened in this year's Giro and Tour. Also, I'd like to go through the routes in order to choose the race that is best suited to my characteristics. Even so, I have a soft spot for the Giro, and I think it suits me best."

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1