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Angry Landa lashes out in wake of late-stage crash at Giro

Mikel Landa blamed Simon Yates for crash before issuing apology on social media

FASCANTI, Italy (VN) — Mikel Landa (Movistar) was livid at the end of Tuesday’s crash-filled finale that cost him more time in what’s been a rough start to the Giro d’Italia.

Landa was caught up in a spill on a traffic circle and pointed the finger at Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). After some hasty words taken at the finish line, when Landa accused Yates of causing the crash, Landa later went on social media to retract his statements.

“Apologies to fans and especially to Yates for words taken out of context,” Landa wrote.

The Giro’s latest war of words came at the end of an intense stage.

Landa and Yates both avoided the major crash that all but ended the GC chances of Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) with about 6km to go, only to crash while chasing towards the line. Both ended the stage with cuts and scrapes on their elbows and hips.

The incident was not broadcast on Italian TV, so it was unclear exactly what happened.

Landa was insistent that it was Yates who caused the crash, whom Landa said was racing like an “idiot.”

“[Yates] took me down on the roundabout,” Landa told AS. “The crash is no big deal, it’s the time I’ve lost again. Now I’m nearly two minutes behind Roglic.”

Yates, however, said another rider fell in front of him, causing him and others to hit the deck while desperately chasing overall leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). The defending Vuelta a España champion did not name the rider.

“Everyone was fighting for position for a roundabout, a rider slid out in front of me,” Yates said. “It was no one’s fault. I’m not blaming anyone. I got up quickly and had the guys around me to limit the losses.”

Yates was able to remount his bike and finish in the front chase group, limiting his losses to just 16 seconds to Roglic.

A frustrated Landa, who had already lost significant time in the opening  time trial in Bologna, broke his bike in the crash and was forced to finish the stage on the bike of Movistar teammate Lluís Mas.

“It sucks when things happen to you that do not depend on yourself,” Landa said. “In the time trial, it was my fault, but today I was on the ground due to someone else.”

Landa came through 44 seconds back, but actually moved up one spot on GC, to 22nd at 1:49.

While some of his key rivals struggled, Roglic escaped the day’s crashes unscathed and widened his lead to Yates to 35 seconds.

Yates said he wasn’t happy to cede even more time to his most dangerous rival.

“I don’t know who else came down in that one, but I think there were a few guys held up,” Yates said. “Of course, I wouldn’t like to lose any more time [to Roglic]. The gap was already probably too big, but the Giro is long and so we’ll see.”

Landa, meanwhile, could at least celebrate the stage victory of teammate Richard Carapaz.

“At least there was some happiness on a bad day,” he said.