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Sky team leader Mikel Landa of Spain has pulled out of the Giro d’Italia complaining of sickness during Tuesday’s tenth stage. Landa, who finished third last year and was among the race favourites, was trailing from the first climb of the 219km stage between Campi Bisenzio and Sestola.
“Mikel woke up early this morning feeling unwell with abdominal pains. It appears as though he has a viral gastroenteritis,” Sky team doctor Inigo Sarriegui said. “We will assess him at the team hotel and then determine the best course of treatment to ensure he recovers as quickly as possible.”
Landa’s teammates and fellow Spaniards David Lopez and Mikel Nieve tried to encourage the 26-year-old but he was trailing by over six minutes by the 50km mark, and finally gave up 15km later at the base of the second climb of the day. Landa was one minute 18 seconds behind overall leader Gianluca Brambilla after a strong performance in Sunday’s individual time trial.
Sky team chief Dave Brailsford added: “We are really disappointed for Mikel, who was riding well and looking forward to attacking in the mountains and animating the race.” Landa had made the Giro his main objective this season since joining Sky from the Astana team. He won the Tour of Trentin last month, one of the warm-up races for the Giro. Despite failing to make his mark during the first week of the race he came back in Sunday’s time trial in Chianti and was eighth overall.
Sky have a recent history of losing their leader at the Giro after Bradley Wiggins pulled out sick in 2013, and Richie Porte pulled out in 2015 after a series of bad luck and a fall left him trailing badly in the overall standings.