Astana’s manager Alexandre Vinokourov said during the presentation at the team’s first get together in Montecatini Terme, in Tuscany, that Mikel Landa suffered from Team Sky’s training methods this year.
The Spaniard was among the favourites in this year’s Giro d’Italia after finishing third in 2015 but he pulled out because of a stomach problem during the 10th stage.
“Our team is one build around the man and the athlete,” Vinokourov said. “We work on the physical characteristics and the rider’s sensations, not on watts…
“We are interested in men, not robots, like other teams. For example, I was pretty disappointed this year with Mikel Landa, who paid the price for changing his training totally and this way of interpreting cycling.”
Landa will attempt to right the wrongs of 2016 next year with a second attempt at the overall at the Giro: “I want to get to the Giro d’Italia in the best possible condition as it’s once again going to be my biggest aim of the year,” Landa told Marca.
“It’s true that I will compete against other riders who have more experience and have achieved better results than I have. But in terms of the orography and the climate, the Giro is the race that is best suited for me.”