Mikel Landa has confirmed that he will ride for Team Sky next season and that he will lead the British team in at least one Grand Tour. The signing has yet to be announced by Team Sky but was confirmed by Landa in a recent interview.
The transfer has been rumoured for several months since Richie Porte confirmed he would be leaving Team Sky at the end of the season for American team BMC.
The up-and-coming Basque rider finished 3rd overall at the Giro D'Italia this year but has had limited opportunities to lead at Team Astana where Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru are ahead in the pecking order. “The team has never considered me a leader,” he told a reporter from the Basque newspaper Deia, according to Cycling Weekly.
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“I wish I had the responsibility on occasion", he continued. "This year I’ve shown that I can win a grand tour and for that I need a team around me."
Superstar of the future
Landa is considered by many to be a potential Grand Tour winner of the future after finishing third in this year's Giro D'Italia.
Although he eventually finished behind teammate Fabio Aru and legend of the sport, Alberto Contador, Landa managed to out-climb both of them and secure two highly impressive stage wins in the third week. He also won a stage of the Vuelta a Espana in August.
He will probably take team leadership at the Giro D'Italia 2016 with likely opponents including Fabio Aru and Richie Porte. Team Sky's Chris Froome will lead the team in next year's Tour de France with a possible joint leadership between the two on the cards for the Vuelta a Espana.
Landa is Team Sky's second signing of the season with young Brit Alex Peters also signing for the squad as an apprentice for the rest of the year. Promising Dutch sprinter Danny Van Poppel is also rumoured to be a target for Dave Brailsford's team.