Team Sky's Mikel Landa abandons 2016 Giro d'Italia with illness

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Team Sky’s Mikel Landa abandons 2016 Giro d’Italia with illness

GC man quits race after falling ill ahead of start of second week's racing

Team Sky’s Mikel Landa abandoned the Giro d’Italia during stage ten after falling ill overnight.

The Spaniard, leading the team’s GC charge, was eighth overall and set to battle it out with the likes of Alejandro Valverde in the mountains over the next fortnight.

He started the stage with the hope of maintaining his overall ambitions, but the illness affected him from the very off as he was dropped by the peloton before abandoning.

Sir Dave Brailsford hopes Team Sky can still make a big impact on the race, however, despite the disappointment of losing their GC leader for the second consecutive year.

Mikel Landa has been forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia with illness (Pic: Sirotti)

Richie Porte abandoned last year’s race as mechanical misfortune and a crash saw him tumble down the GC and later succumb to his injuries.

And on their latest Giro blow, Brailsford said: “Mikel was ill overnight but we spoke this morning and he started today’s stage with the hope of being able to pull through.

“It was pretty clear that the illness had badly affected him and that he wasn’t going to be able to continue.

“We are really disappointed for Mikel, who was riding well and looking forward to attacking in the mountains and animating the race.

“However we came here as a team and we’ll continue as a team. There is a long way still to go and, although our focus was on Mikel, there’s plenty of time for us to still make an impact at this Giro”

Team doctor Inigo Sarriegui confirmed Landa was suffering abdominal pains, likely to be caused by gastroenteritis, and will undergo further assessment in the team hotel in order to establish the best treatment.

Landa is the second Team Sky rider to leave the Giro d’Italia, after Elia Viviani was outside the time limit on stage eight.

Prior to stage ten, Nicolas Roche was Team Sky’s second-best placed rider, sitting 28th overall – 6’47” behind race leader Gianluca Brambilla.

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