Landa signs with Soudal-Quick Step to support Evenepoel

cycling16 August 2023 12:33| © AFP
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Mikel Landa © Gallo Images

Spanish veteran Mikel Landa will join Soudal-Quick Step on a two-year contract in 2024 to bolster Remco Evenepoel's first assault on the Tour de France, the Belgian team announced on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old's contract with Bahrain-Victorious expires after this season.

He said he was looking forward to "supporting" the team's Belgian prodigy Evenepoel in the cycling showpiece next year.

In two seasons with Sky, the Basque played a similar role as Chris Froome won the Tour de France in 2016 and 2017.

Landa finished fourth in the Tour in 2017 and 2020, as well as third in the 2015 and 2022 Giro.

"I am happy and motivated by this new challenge and by supporting Remco in his goals. I come here with a lot of experience, especially in the Grand Tours, where I’ve been fighting for the podium or have helped others win several times in the past," said Landa in the team statement.

"I have always felt comfortable supporting younger riders."

Patrick Lefevere, the team CEO said the signing signalled a change of focus.

"He is the right man to strengthen our squad as we gradually shift our attention to the general classification," said Lefevere.

The announcement comes amid growing rumours of Evenepoel's departure for Ineos.

The Belgian will defend his Spanish Vuelta title starting on August 26. He will be up against Dane Jonas Vingegaard, winner of the last two Tours de France.