Mikel Landa to miss Vuelta a Espana

Mikel Landa will miss this year’s Vuelta a Espana after withdrawing from Team Sky’s lineup with an injury.

Landa, who had been confirmed to race as part of the nine-man squad, told medical staff that he was experiencing discomfort after aggravating an injury to his hip. After an initial MRI scan was taken, the decision was made to withdraw him from the Sky team in order to allow him to fully recover from his injury.

Spanish climber David Lopez will take Landa place of Saturday’s opening team time trial. The experienced Lopez is a Vuelta stage winner and will be starting his 15th Grand Tour. Earlier this season he was part of Team Sky’s Giro d’Italia lineup.

Team Sky Doctor Inigo Sarriegui said: “Mikel told us that he had been suffering with discomfort in his hip and upper leg. We sent him for a scan but have decided that the best thing at this stage is to take Mikel out of the Vuelta line up.

“Obviously he is disappointed, but starting a Grand Tour when you are already experiencing pain from an injury risks aggravating it further and could cause more problems. Mikel will be able to focus on recovering from the injury, rather than trying to get through a three week stage race.”

Mikel Landa said: “I’m disappointed to have to withdraw from the team, especially so close to the start of the race. I was motivated to perform well at the Vuelta, but the pain I have had means I wouldn’t be ready to perform at my best. We have agreed that it’s best for me to focus on recovering properly so I can get fit and get back to racing.

“We have a strong team for the Vuelta and I’m very disappointed that I won’t be there, but I wish the guys good luck and know they will have a great race.”