By Jonny Long
Movistar have announced the termination by mutual agreement of Miguel Ángel López's contract.
The Colombian signed for the Spanish team ahead of the 2021 season and before this year's Vuelta a España had even penned a two-year contract extension that would have seen the 27-year-old remain with the squad until the end of 2023.
However, when he quit the Spanish Grand Tour on the penultimate stage 20 after being dropped, slipping off the third spot on the podium and TV cameras capturing a frustrated López getting into the team car, the fallout has finally culminated in the mutual termination of his contract.
"Abarca Sports announced today the resolution by mutual agreement of the contract of the rider Miguel Ángel López, as of next October 1st," Movistar said in a press release.
"The team thanks Miguel Ángel for his efforts and results throughout the season, and wishes him good luck for the future."
"It's the best decision we've been able to make..." López later said in his own statement. "Thanks to everything Movistar for the opportunity, everything lived will be for the benefit of our development."
One option for López now is a return to Astana, with Alexandre Vinokourov back at the helm of the Kazakh team, which the Colombian left after six years to join Movistar.
Before stage 20 of the Vuelta, López had been having a successful debut season with his new squad, winning stage 18 at the Spanish Grand Tour and capturing the overall victory at the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol earlier in the year.
"Why did I abandon? We’re humans, not machines," López said after quitting the Vuelta.
“At times we’re made of flesh and bone. What remains is asking forgiveness from the team and fans. It was a mistake to not finish.
"It's been a tough situation, but it ended up happening like that. I decided to stop fighting a battle which was all but lost. Now I just want to say to the fans, the sponsors, the La Vuelta organisers – I'm sorry for what happened and for how things went today."
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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