It should come as no surprise to anyone that Spaniard Mikel Landa will lead Team Sky at the Giro d'Italia instead of Chris Froome.

With three wins on his palmares, Froome will be Sky's go-to guy for the Tour de France until age and ambition rule him out. 

On paper, the upcoming Giro suits Froome more than the Tour but in 2016 he proved his adaptability to any changes the race directors throw at him. So while the 2017 Tour is short on time trialling and really high mountains it was always the case that he would be at the start in Dusseldorf.

So while the 2017 Tour is short on time trialling and really high mountains it was always the case that he would be at the start in Dusseldorf.

Sky has any number of riders who could lead at the Giro but their key players, like Wout Poels, were always going to be held over in support of Froome rather than being let off the leash. But a choice still needed to be made, so, enter Landa.

It's not that he's expendable in terms of supporting Froome but that after a Giro podium finish in 2015 he would be the likely candidate to carry Sky's ambitions there, and the course suits his undoubted climbing ability.

Spanish publication Marca said Landa has overcome his health issues and will begin a Giro program with gym and pool sessions before hitting the road for early season kilometres.

While his race program is not entirely clear, the Tirreno-Adriatico, Volta a Catalunya and Giro del Trentino are all likely to be on Landa's radar.

If it all goes well, Landa will join Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) and Fabio Aru (Astana) at the Giro start line in Sardinia.

Tuesday 15 Nov 2016

Almost two years ago it happened to Australian Simon Gerrans but today comes news of off season mountain biking's latest victim, Belgian Greg Van Avermaet.

The Olympic road race champion is to undergo surgery on a fractured ankle.

“Greg van Avermaet will undergo surgery to secure a small, non-displaced, distal left fibula fracture, that he sustained two days ago while training on his mountain bike," the team said in a statement.

The surgery was to take place Monday. A winner of stages on the past two editions of the Tour de France and always fancied in the one-day classics, the 31-year-old had an impressive run in 2016.

He won the overall at Tirreno-Adriatico after a mountainous stage 5 was cancelled. He also won stage 5 at the Tour, the Olympics road race, and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal.

BMC said Van Avermaet would be back in time for the start of the 2017 season. He is set to have surgery in Antwerp on Tuesday and will be out of the saddle for up to four weeks.

"Injuries are unfortunately part of a cyclist's career, something that Greg understands well having already bounced back successfully from injury this year," BMC doctor Max Testa said. 

"Following surgery Greg's training program will be readjusted according to his progress over the next two to three weeks."