Mikel Landa & Pello Bilbao 'Unlimited Society'



Pello Bilbao has moved from Astana to Bahrain to help Mikel Landa in his attempt to win the Tour de France with renewed leadership and McLaren technology. Trust the alavs a lot.

Mikel Landa and Pello Bilbao, in a training by Bahrain McLaren.
Team Bahrain McLaren

Mikel Landa and Pello Bilbao are old acquaintances who have met again in the same team, the Bahrain McLaren. With gallons, although the leadership is very defined in favor of alavs, thinking of the Tour de France. Today they start together the Tour of Andaluca.

They have been rivals since they left Euskaltel-Euskadi, for closing the business, in 2013. In the penultimate stage of the 2019 Giro, ending in Croce d'Aune, Pello won the sprint to Mikel and achieved his second victory in the great Italian round. “Yes, I have a grudge!” Landa jokes with laughter included. “He's going to find out, I'm going to fill him with drums like a condemned man, I screwed up the year, hahaha …” Finished the laughter, the seriousness: “I'm glad it was he who beat me. He is on this team for himself, neither for me nor for anyone. It is true that his signing had my approval, how not. Pello is at the McLaren Bahrain on his own“.

If Mikel Landa left the Movistar Team in search of a success not found, Pello Bilbao undertook its Astana march with triumphs in luggage.

“Mikel already told me at the beginning of last year that I had the opportunity with Bahrain, who was valuing that option and had been asked about me,” says Pello Bilbao. “That a team is interested in you at the beginning of a season is something to keep in mind. We knew that McLaren was going to enter and that the project was changing, but not much else. I was encouraged to make the decision to have a reference, a friend you have known for a long time“, explains the vizcano.

The relationship began as opponents in youth. “We once agreed on the podium, on the Bizkaiko Bira youth. Then we were partners in the Naturgas, I as an amateur first year and l second. Ah you already see that it was the reference of the team, that it had a special engine and they gave it the opportunity to go to the Orbea, “Bilbao recalls in reference to the year 2008. In 2009, Pello made the same transfer to the Continental Basque team and Euskaltel, as if he were chasing Landa. Until 2013, when their paths separated. They have met again this season.

“Our relationship is working, we get along but we don't live so close as to train together. We have known each other for so long and we agreed in so many careers that the relationship has been maintained, sometimes by phone. It motivates me to work for someone I know. I know what it is and what it can give, “says Pello, who also has a clear role in the McLaren Bahrain.

“I have no doubt what they want from me here: that I arrive at the Tour de France at 100%. It is the main and unquestionable objective. They want it to be a key piece for the Tour team to look for the overall victory with Mikel“, specifies Bilbao.

Pello Bilbao leaves no loose end when it says: “When I signed the contract were very clear ideas from the beginning: part of the season focused on Mikel and on achieving the goals with him and another part of the season, for my own goals and possibilities. Everyone knows what he is going and knows what he has“.

The tour accompanies us, we have a motivated leader and aware of the occasion that presents itself. The team is clear and he already has maturity and experience to face the Tour as leader

Pello Bilbao, cyclist of the Bahrain McLaren

Bilbao's confidence in Landa seems solid: “So far he has missed his chance or believe in his possibilities … He has not been given the chance to take full responsibility as a leader and face a journey for him. This year it seems that everything fits and we are aware that it can be your great possibility. The tour accompanies us, we have a motivated leader and aware of the occasion that presents itself. The team is clear and he already has maturity and experience to face the Tour as leader. “

But to the Mikel & Pello society we must add a third leg: the Basque coach Aritz Arberas, which has come with Bilbao from the Astana. “I have spent the last three seasons with him and at the moment I was closing my contract with Bahrain, his name came out, because I was interested in continuing to work with him and the team was also interested directly, with the reference they had of me and Mikel who has known him for a long time too, “Pello Bilbao details. In those days of the amateur Naturgas the director was Arberas.”Artitz is a guarantee, I know that with his method it worked well, we understand each other perfectly and having a coach close to home is a bargain when doing work after motorcycle … It's a plus, “says Bilbao.

The vizcano puts himself at the command of the alavs already in the Tour of Andalusia, but the mind is in the goal of the summer, of the year: Tour de France. And Pello is in no hurry to be the one who leads the team. “Not only is it a matter of engine, you have to being used to working as a leader and in that I think Mikel has more experience than me. If you are organized there are no more doubts. I will have my chance in three week races. I only enjoyed it once, in the 2018 Giro, and I want to have it again that opportunity that I think is going to offer me the Tour of Spain this year, “concludes Bilbao.

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