VN news ticker: Mikel Landa sees chance of lifetime, report links Sam Bennett to Bora-Hansgrohe

Here's the news making headlines for Monday, May 10.

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Mikel Landa dreaming ‘pink’ at Giro d’Italia

Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) sees the 2021 Giro d’Italia as a chance of a lifetime to win a grand tour.

Third in 2015, Landa come close to hitting another podium on a few occasions, but a mix of team politics and bad luck has conspired against his grand tour ambitions. Backed by a strong team at the Giro, the Spanish climber believes in his chances for the podium, if not more.

“It’s a big opportunity. I see my rivals closer than ever,” Landa said in a media call. “Every year, I am stronger and more experienced, and you keep learning new things. I have enough battle scars by now, so I hope I have learned from my mistakes of the past. Yates arrives in good form, and Bernal started the season strong, so they will be references in the race. We have a strong team, and we work well together.”

Landa’s opening time trial in Torino was far from ideal, finishing 49 seconds slower than winner Filippo Ganna, and giving up 20 seconds or more to some of his key GC rivals.

Report: Sam Bennett to Bora-Hansgrohe

Could Sam Bennett be returning to his former team, Bora-Hansgrohe? That’s what the rumor mill says.

Just the day after news broke that the super-sprinter would be leaving Deceuninck-Quick-Step at the end of this season, Dutch outlet Wielerflits has reported that the 30-year-old may be going back to Bora-Hansgrohe, the team he left in 2019.

Bora-Hansgrohe did not respond to the report, but the move could make sense.

Bennett formerly raced with the team for six years, including during its first incarnation as ProTeam NetApp-Endura. He eventually left when the presence of Peter Sagan on the squad saw him repeatedly left on the bench each grand tour season.

With Sagan also slated to be on the move in 2022 – possibly to Deceuninck-Quick-Step – and Bora-Hansgrohe’s other sprinter, Pascal Ackermann, also slated to be moving on at the end of the season, Bennett will have free reign at the German squad.

The departures of Ackermann and Sagan would also free up Bora’s budget to meet the Irishman’s steep salary demands, which are said to have been the cause of his rift with Quick-Step.