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Mikel Landa apologises for Yates 'retard' comment

Basque rider blamed the Brit for his crash on Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia

Joe Robinson
15 May 2019

Movistar's Mikel Landa has apologised after calling Simon Yates a 'retard' following yesterday's crash-filled finale at Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia. The Basque rider was interviewed after the stage finish by Spanish newspaper AS, who questioned Landa on the incident 4km from the finish line.

Landa responded in anger stating: 'That f**king Yates, who is a retard and rides like crazy. He threw me into a roundabout.'

A number of large crashes in the final 4km to Frascati saw multiple General Classification riders lose time including both Yates and Landa.

Landa crossed the line 44 seconds down on his teammate and stage winner Richard Carapaz and 42 seconds down on pink jersey wearer Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma, completing the final 4km on the bike of his teammate Lluis Mas after his own bike snapped in the crash.

Yates, who also fell in a crash, crossed the line only 18 seconds adrift of Carapaz as he managed to limit his losses to just 16 seconds from Roglic.

The Buryman then took to Twitter to respond to Landa's comments stating: 

Later that evening, once Landa had been able to reflect on his heat-of-the-moment statement, he took to Twitter to apologise to Yates saying, 'Apologies to all the fans and especially for a few words taken from context.'

Yates then responded to Landa's tweet accepting Landa's apologies writing: 'No worries, I understand what it's like to say something in the heat of the moment.'

While the incident has been put to bed, it is likely to add spice to a GC battle that is already hotting up rapidly.

Prior to the crash involving Yates and Landa, Tom Dumoulin's hopes of a second Giro d'Italia were left shattered after the Dutchman crashed, injuring his knee, finishing four minutes down on the stage winner Carapaz.

The Giro restarts today with another stage designed for the sprinters with Stage 5 covering a 140km course from Frascati to Terracina.