Mikel Landa‘s long-awaited debut with Movistar will finally take place on Wednesday at the start of the five-day Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol. This will be his first race of the season but Landa believes that after a solid winter of training he is strong enough to race among the top contenders.
“This will be a very special race for me,” said Landa, who joined Movistar this season after spending two years with Team Sky.
“New colours, new ambitions… and I’d like to start this off in a good way, to make things easier for everyone and bring some joy to the rest of the team.”
The race starts in Malaga and ends with a time trial in Barbate, with a summit finish at the Alto de Allanadas on stage 2, a stage that Landa’s former Team Sky teammate won in 2015, before winning the overall title. Landa was sixth overall last year.
Froome announced that he will also start his season at the Ruta del Sol, despite having returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) at the 2017 Vuelta a España for twice the permissible dose of the asthma medication salbutamol. He could face a suspension, but the outcome of that case has yet to be announced.
Landa will lead Movistar in the overall classification with support from Andrey Amador, Jorge Arcas Peña, Daniele Bennati, Imanol Erviti, Rubén Fernandez Andujar and Marc Soler Gimenez.
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