Mikel Landa wins Giro del Trentino as Tanel Kangert takes final stage
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 22/04/16 5:12pm
Team Sky’s Mikel Landa won the Giro del Trentino on bonus seconds on Friday after the four-day race came down to a sprint for the title.
The 26-year-old Spaniard held an eight-second lead over second-placed Tanel Kangert (Astana) going into the final stage, which contained three categorised climbs but ended with a flat run to the line.
Only the overall contenders remained in a small leading group when they arrived at the finish in Cles, and Kangert piled huge pressure on Landa by sprinting to the stage win and taking the 10 bonus seconds on offer.
That left Landa needing to cross the line either second or third to claim the remaining six or four bonus seconds, and he managed to do so by finishing third behind Matteo Busato (Southeast-Venezuela).
It meant he beat Kangert to the title by just two seconds, with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) 12 seconds further back in third.
Landa told teamsky.com: "With the bonus seconds at the finish, it was always going to be dangerous today.
"When I saw Kangert with Jakob [Fuglsang], I thought they would have a good sprint, but fortunately I was able to take some bonus seconds of my own and keep the jersey. I'm really happy. The team did really good work to keep this jersey."
The win was Landa's first in a stage race and sets him up perfectly for his bid for overall victory at next month's Giro d'Italia.
He added: "It'll be really nice for me to arrive at the Giro d'Italia having taken this victory and it will give me more confidence to fight for the maglia rosa. Now I will recover, train hard and then go to the Giro."
Elsewhere on Friday, Riccardo Zoidl (Trek-Segafredo) took the overall lead of the Tour of Croatia by winning solo on stage four's summit finish at Ucka. Britain's Scott Davies (WIGGINS) finished an impressive ninth and is now in the same position overall.
Giro del Trentino stage four result
1 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana, 4:07:29
2 Matteo Busato (Ita) Southeast-Venezuela, same time
3 Mikel Landa (Esp) Team Sky, st
4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, st
5 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18, st
Giro del Trentino final general classification
1 Mikel Landa (Esp) Team Sky, 14:44:48
2 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana, +2sec
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, +14
4 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo, +19
5 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18, +24