Miguel Ángel López has confirmed he will race for Movistar from 2021.
López, who finished sixth in the 2020 Tour de France, will be leaving Astana after six seasons as the team can’t afford his salary any longer.
The 26-year-old Colombian has signed a one-year deal with Spanish WorldTour team Movistar, where he will race alongside the likes of Enric Mas and Alejandro Valverde.
Announcing the move, López said: “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. 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.”
López has been knocking on the door of Grand Tour success in recent years finishing third in both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España.
His Tour de France debut earlier this year also saw him very nearly secure a third podium in a three-week race, but his poor time trial on the penultimate stage left him in sixth overall.
But with victories in a number of prestigious week-long stage races, including Tour Colombia, the Volta a Catalunya, and the Tour de Suisse, Movistar hope Lopez will be another contender for Grand Tours.
Team manager Eusebio Unzue said: “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.
“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.”
As the 2021 season fast approaches, a number of teams are making late signings, including NTT Pro Cycling who have only just secured their future with new sponsorship.
The team, which will be known as Qhubeka-Assos next year, have just announced the signing of three additional riders to their roster - Simon Clarke from EF Pro Cycling, Dimitri Claeys from Cofidis and Kilian Frakiny from Groupama-FDJ.
Clarke said: "I’m really thrilled to be taking on a new challenge with Team Qhubeka-Assos.
"In one way, this is a sort of homecoming in that my father is South African and I’ve always felt some sort of deeper interest and pull towards the team.
"The opportunity to find out more and contribute to the amazing work that the Qhubeka Charity does is truly unique, and the South African side of my family is already pushing me to ensure that I get the pronunciation correct – so I have some work to do!"
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