As for fighting his Tour de France fate, in what is yet to come in the 2020 race, Landa insisted: “We have to stay ambitious, there is a long way to go and even though the rivals look strong. , there might be surprises. . The podium is possible, and I have to stay focused on it. ”
Landa was one of many contenders to lose 1:21 in the crosswinds to Lavaur on Stage 7 – his only major mistake on the Tour.
“If I hadn’t lost that minute and a half on Friday, then things would be perfect. And if I feel like I’m in the Pyrenees, I think I can do something important. The differences haven’t been too great so far. Landa said.
Now 10th overall, he refuses to see his 1:42 gap behind race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) as the final, and given that 81 of those seconds were lost in a row, many observers would give in Landa the benefit of any potential doubt. .
The Basque recognized that it was not just a question of catching up. He would have to reach the final time trial, which will have “a major influence” on the general classification, with a good time cushion over all the other rivals, given that the times are, as he puts it, “my Achilles’ heel “.
Failures of the Greek demigods aside, Landa’s dream of defeating the odd Slovenian hero or two and conquering Mount Olympus in the Yellow Jersey has remained intact despite the setbacks.
One goal – to be the sole leader of his team after having to share that honor with the Sky and Movistar teams – has already been achieved with Bahrain McLaren and Landa has admitted he prefers it that way.
“Despite our setbacks,” he said, referring to the bad crashes of Rafael Valls and Wout Poels, “they were with me 100%”.
Regardless for Landa, as for all other riders on the Tour, the ongoing PCR testing for COVID-19 and their possible effects on tomorrow’s race and beyond continued to cause concern.
“It’s worrying,” Landa admitted, “but I hope that with all the right measures everything will be settled and we can move on. ”
As in all the best stories, the moment one obstacle is overcome another arises – something true for all runners, but for Landa, apparently more.