Mikel Landa has enjoyed a successful start to life with Astana having moved from the now-defunct Euskaltel-Euskadi in the winter. The 24-year-old forms part of Michele Scarponi’s support team for the Giro, but along with team-mate Fabio Aru could also find himself chasing the white jersey if he is allowed a little freedom from team duties. A stage winner at the Giro del Trentino – on his way to tenth overall – Landa arrives in good form too.
Solid showings at the Tour of the Basque Country – which included a more-than respectable eighth place on stage four – and the Volta a Catalunya means he is in good shape racing-wise too. Last year Aru found himself in the white jersey for several days early on before duties for Vincenzo Nibali took over. Whether he and Landa will be afforded any freedom with Scarponi ambitiously targeting another Giro success remains to be seen, but if they are they are certainly capable of spending a few days in white, even if they can not hold it into Trieste.