Miguel Ángel López returns to Astana following turbulent year with Movistar

The Colombian climber had his contract terminated by Movistar after he abandoned the Vuelta a España 2021

Miguel Ángel López
(Image credit: Getty)

Miguel Ángel López will re-join Astana in 2022 after his contract was terminated by Movistar, the Kazakh team has confirmed.

López's contract was halted by the Spanish outfit after the Colombian decided he wanted to abandon the Vuelta a España due to missing a group that ultimately decided the general classification on the final road stage of the race.

This came after López had already put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension before the Vuelta, but the reaction to missing the vital split went down poorly within the ranks of the Spanish team.

Movistar rider, Imanol Erviti, revealed that he tried and tried to get López back riding saying: "I tried to convince him that he should do it for the commitment to the team, for his team-mates who were there, and because he had also quit the Tour de France, he would regret it later."

>>> Tour de France 2022 route: The official route for the 109th edition revealed

But it was to no avail and López left the race and with it, Movistar too.

López said in the Astana transfer announcement: "Coming back to the Astana team is a return home. In the world of professional cycling, a rider who wants to keep on moving forward sometimes has to change something in his career, to gain new experience. Sometimes it is a good one, sometimes not. 

"The main thing is that I am coming home to my team, the team that gave me so much and with which, I am sure, we will be able to live many more wonderful moments. There is a lot of work ahead for the new season to be successful for me and for Astana Qazaqstan Team."

López spent six seasons at Astana before moving to Movistar, now signing a two-year contract to return to the team from Kazakhstan.

Astana general manager, Alexandr Vinokourov, said: "Miguel Ángel López is a rider who grew up and achieved his greatest successes in our team, and therefore I am happy that after a short break he is making his return to Astana Team. 

"Over the past year, Miguel Ángel has gained serious experience, which, perhaps, he lacked in our team. I think that this experience, both good and not so good, will help him to continue his development. 

"López proved that he is still one of the strongest riders in the world, continuing to win at the highest level, so it is great that Miguel Ángel will continue his career in Astana Qazaqstan Team."

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.