Mikel Landa wins Giro del Trentino

Mikel Landa stayed remarkably calm under pressure on the final stage in Italy, timing his sprint perfectly to edge into third place, giving him the crucial bonus seconds he needed to clinch the general classification.

An attacking final day heaped the pressure onto Team Sky and Landa, who ended the race with a slender advantage of just two seconds – wrapping up his first stage race victory in the process.

Tanel Kangert (Astana) went into the deciding day just eight seconds off the lead, and the Estonian unleashed a fast finish to make it two victories on the trot – taking 10 bonus seconds in the process.

Undeterred, Landa battled to the head of an elite lead group and bagged the podium place he needed. Phil Deignan helped his team-mate with a remarkable shift late on, battling his way back to the front to chase down a number of dangerous attacks, in addition to setting a strong tempo.

After the finish Landa admitted he was aware of just how fine the margins were, but is happy to now carry winning momentum into next month’s Giro d’Italia.

“With the bonus seconds at the finish, it was always going to be dangerous today,” he confirmed. “When I saw Kangert with Jakob [Fuglsang] I thought they would have a good sprint, but fortunately I was able to take some bonus seconds of my own and keep the jersey. I’m really happy. The team did really good work to keep this jersey.

“It was a difficult day. The last climb was really hard and because of that I lost some team-mates. Fortunately Philip was able to give me some really good support in the final kilometres.

“I think overall my climb on stage two was key. I was able to make some time at the finish to take the lead and make a difference. We lost some time on day one in the team time trial, but we gained it all back the next day. It was a perfect Giro del Trentino for us.

“It’ll be really nice for me to arrive at the Giro d’Italia having taken this victory and it will give me more confidence to fight for the maglia rosa. Now I will recover, train hard and then go to the Giro!”

Giro del Trentino 2016 – stage 4 results (Malè – Cles):

1 Tanel Kangert (Astana)

4:07:29

2 Matteo Busato (Southeast – Venezuela)

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3 Mikel Landa Meana (Sky)

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4 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

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5 Patrick Konrad (Bora-Argon 18)

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6 Sergey Firsanov (Gazprom-Rusvelo)

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7 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R)

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8 Romain Bardet (AG2R)

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9 Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)

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10 Hubert Dupont (AG2R)

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Final general classification:

1 Mikel Landa Meana (Sky)

14:44:48

2 Tanel Kangert (Astana)

+02”

3 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

+14”

4 Sergey Firsanov (Gazprom-Rusvelo)

+19”

5 Romain Bardet (AG2R)

+24”

6 Patrick Konrad (Bora-Argon 18)

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7 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R)

+28”

8 Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon 18)

+30”

9 Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R)  +42”
10 Hubert Dupont (AG2R)  +56”

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