The stage of the day: Landa, before the first high altitude

Orcières-Merlette, 7.1 kilometers at 6.7%, is the first uphill finish of the 2020 Tour. Landa is confident in his form and doesn't think there will be many differences.

The-stage-of-the-day:-Landa-before-the-first-high-altitude

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Fourth in 2017 (one second behind Bardet's third position), seventh in 2018 and sixth in 2019. Mikel Landa faces his fifth Tour (debuted in 2016, 35th as a gregarious for Froome) as the leader of Bahrain and only thinks " to reach the podium in Paris ":" The last time I climbed one is far behind, in the 2015 Giro (third), I would love to return. Obviously, I will not miss any opportunity to win a stage (only the Tour is missing to complete the collection in the big three), but I will fight for the overall ".

The organization designed the first high altitude finish early, for the fourth day of this afternoon: the Orcières-Merlette ski resort, 7.1 kilometers at 6.7%. A port in which Luis Ocaña blew Eddy Merckx in the 1971 edition (later he would crash in Menté and the Belgian would wear his third yellow on the Champs Elysees without opposition). The Alava trusts in answering: "I feel good in form. Competing in the Dauphiné left me with a very good point, with rhythm and motivated to fight."

Even so, several drawbacks: "In the saddle of the first day I hit myself in the same ribs that I broke when I was run over in February. In the second stage I had a hard time starting up and getting warm, then I went well, as in the third day. I hope I am ready for Orcières. " In his team he will have one less man and another, diminished: "The loss of Valls seems to me a real shame, first for his health, since a fracture of the femur is hard, and because he was in a very good moment. Poels also has ribs are spoiled. I wish him to recover little by little for the last week. "

Landa does not believe that Orcières-Merlette will break the initial equality between the contenders for the title: "People will be nervous because it is the first mountain goal. However, there will hardly be any differences and we will have to be very careful not to give up anything with the rest of the favorites. This first week will order the classification a bit. Although there may not be much battle, the leaders will have to watch what happens around. The fat will play in the Alps and the time trial of La Planche, but the Massif Central may surprise in the second block ".

The Basque climber takes "the whole issue of the coronavirus" well: "It is strange about the mask and having people and the media at such a distance, although this bubble does not change much from what it was the day before." He does see differences in Bahrain compared to Movistar, Sky and Astana: "They consider me the only leader, with the support, the trust and whatever I need at my disposal. I feel I have the opportunity of my life, I do not want excuses or disappoint ". Julian Alaphilippe will defend four seconds over Adam Yates and 17 '' in front of the corral de los gallos.



Photos from as.com
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