Mikel Landa replaced by David Lopez in Vuelta a Espana team
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 17/08/16 8:32pm
David Lopez has been drafted in to Team Sky's line-up for the Vuelta a Espana after Mikel Landa's withdrawal through injury.
Landa, who was also involved in Team Sky's Giro d'Italia and Tour de France teams, has been ruled out of the year's final Grand Tour after aggravating a hip injury.
Fellow Spaniard Lopez will now join up with the squad ahead of Saturday's opening team time trial.
The experienced Lopez is a Vuelta stage winner and will be starting his 15th Grand Tour - he was also in Team Sky's Giro d'Italia lineup.
Team Sky doctor Inigo Sarriegui said: "Mikel told us that he had been suffering with discomfort in his hip and upper leg. We sent him for a scan but have decided that the best thing at this stage is to take Mikel out of the Vuelta line up.
"Obviously he is disappointed, but starting a Grand Tour when you are already experiencing pain from an injury risks aggravating it further and could cause more problems.
"Mikel will be able to focus on recovering from the injury, rather than trying to get through a three week stage race."
Landa was a stage winner at last year's Vuelta, when he helped Astana team-mate Fabio Aru claim the red jersey as overall victor.
He added: "I'm disappointed to have to withdraw from the team, especially so close to the start of the race. I was motivated to perform well at the Vuelta, but the pain I have had means I wouldn't be ready to perform at my best.
"We have agreed that it's best for me to focus on recovering properly so I can get fit and get back to racing. We have a strong team for the Vuelta and I'm very disappointed that I won't be there, but I wish the guys good luck and know they will have a great race."