Miguel Angel Lopez has made the surprise move of joining Movistar from Astana for the 2021 season.
The young Colombian rider will join the Spanish WorldTour on what appears to be a one-year deal with aim of targeting General Classification at a Grand Tour in 2021.
The reason Lopez’s signature at Movistar is such a surprise is due to comments made by the 26-year-old earlier in his career. Notably at the 2019 Vuelta a Espana when he criticised the team attacking race leader Primoz Roglic after he had suffered a crash.
At the time Lopez said, ‘the guys from Movistar are always the same opportunistic idiots’ and condemned their racing tactics. Now, however, the Colombian has changed his tune, praising the team’s significance in professional cycling.
‘I’m so happy to be part of one of the most important teams in the world of cycling. As I’ve always done, I’ll try to achieve my fullest potential to represent the Movistar Team and the people of Colombia in the best possible way,’ said Lopez.
‘This has always been a very significant team for my home fans and a crucial factor for the growth of the sport in Latin America, so I’m excited to join them next year.’
Lopez joins after current team Astana decided not to renew the Colombian’s contract, the team in which he had been a part since turning professional in 2015.
With podium finishes at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta under his belt as well as a sixth-place finish at this year’s Tour de France, Lopez will come aboard as Movistar’s primary General Classification hopeful alongside Spanish duo Enric Mas and Marc Soler.
For team manager Eusebio Unzue, Lopez’s comments about Movistar are clearly water under the bridge and he is excited to see Lopez’s aggressive race style in action from next season.
‘Miguel Ángel López’s signing marks a really important addition to our men’s team. Having him aboard, we’ll not only enjoy the services of an experienced rider of great results, but also the style of racing from someone who always conceives this sport on the attack, trying to catch the rivals by surprise,’ said Unzue.
‘He’s someone who knows well what it takes to step onto the podium of the Grand Tours, and who’s achieved important victories in one-week stage races. His addition to the team further bolsters our potential for the big tours in 2021.’
Source: Cycling – Cyclist