Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Landa - It's not nice to see your idol fall

Lance Armstrong's seemingly never-ending fall from grace continues to surprise, shock and disappoint many a fan and professional cyclist. One who belongs to the latter category is Euskaltel's Mikel Landa. The ace climber admits to having been a huge fan of the Texan while growing up, but doesn't think the IOC should punish the current generation of riders for the mistakes of yesteryear.

"I became a cyclist through watching how he won", he told Ciclismo a fondo. "He was always my idol. Now I'm disappointed - it's never a pretty sight to watch one of your heros fall.

"But I don't think excluding cycling from the Olympics is necessary", he added. "We started from scratch a while back, and we're already doing well."

While the Texan made his career at the Tour de France, the 23-year-old Landa says he'd prefer winning a stage at one of the other two Grand Tours rather than at the Tour.

"Today, I'd rather win at the Giro or the Vuelta", he said. "And if I achieve that, who knows if I might be able to do the same at the Tour.

"Of course I'd like to make my debut at the Tour", Landa, who'll once again build his season around the Vuelta this year, said. "At the Tour you've got a lot to win and little to lose - you might save the entire season with a good Tour performance. But to be honest, I'm still young, and I don't think I'm ready for it yet".

Landa will kick-start his campaign at the Challenge Mallorca this coming weekend, and will from there go on to take part in races like the Vuelta a Andalucía, Volta a Catalunya, Vuelta al País Vasco, the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de Romandie. Asked what he'd like to read about himself at the end of 2013, Landa said the following:

"Mikel Landa surprises at País Vasco" - and just like that, the pressure is on.

Photo: Fox News

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