Mikel Landa came up aces in what could be his last hurrah with Team Sky.
The Spanish rider took full advantage of leadership responsibilities in the five-day Vuelta a Burgos, winning two stages and claiming the overall title Saturday.
“I came here to win, and I did, so I am very satisfied,” Landa said. “I went to the Tour [de France] as a helper and finished fourth. I came here as a leader and won.”
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After riding in support at the Tour de France and at the Clásica San Sebastián, Landa barreled to victory in the opening stage and again in stage 3. With the GC in control, he shadowed stage-hunters in the final summit finale at Lagunas de Neila, finishing third behind Astana’s Miguel Ángel López on the stage.
After racing the Giro d’Italia and the Tour in top form, Landa said he would take a break before ending the season at the Italian one-day races to close out his contract with Team Sky.
Landa, 27, has been linked to Movistar as well as other teams. He said he wants to be assured a grand tour leadership role at his next team.
“Now I will enjoy this, consider my options, and decide on my future,” Landa said. “I demonstrated at the Giro and Tour that I can be with the best riders in the fight for the overall.”
After struggling with illness in 2016, Landa was back at his best this season to confirm his credentials as a rider on the rise. He won a stage and the king of the mountains jersey at the Giro after crashing on the stage to Blockhaus. He went to the Tour to help Chris Froome chase a fourth yellow jersey, and ended up missing the final podium by one second.
At the Clásica last month, Landa once again served as a helper to set up Michel Kwiatkowski to win a five-up sprint.
“We saw in the Tour that Mikel was in great shape and again at San Sebastian, so this was our chance to give something back to him for all the work he has done,” said Sky sport director Dario Cioni. “All of the team was really motivated to support him for this race.”