López to leave Astana, Pidcock to Ineos Grenadiers, Mühlberger moves to Movistar

WorldTour team signings and transfers continue following the Tour de France.

Photo: Benoit Tessier - Pool/Getty Images

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Astana team director Alexander Vinokourov indicated Tuesday that the team will not be renewing its contract with Miguel Ángel López at the conclusion of the 2020 season due to budgetary concerns.

López had a strong Tour de France earlier this month, winning stage 17 atop the brutally steep Col de la Loze, and sat in third place overall until the stage 20 time trial.

According to the Belgian news outlet Weilerflits, López will be riding in the Giro d’Italia, starting October 3rd, in support of Jakob Fuglsang.

The 26-year-old has previously finished in third overall at the 2018 Giro d’Italia and the 2018 Vuelta a España.

2020 marks the sixth year López has raced with the Kazakh-based team. There are reports linking López to Bora-Hansgrohe for 2021.

Tom Pidcock to Ineos Grenadiers

Pidcock was a hot favorite for the cyclocross U23 worlds in early 2020. Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images.

The Ineos Grenadiers have signed the young British hotshot Tom Pidcock for 2021.

Sir Dave Brailsford is looking to bolster the team following a disappointing Tour de France, in which the Ineos Grenadiers had scored just one stage win — Michał Kwiatkowski on stage 18 — while the team leader and 2019 Tour champion Egan Bernal abandoned after the 16th stage.

Brailsford told The Telegraph, “It’s like a transition really. But we’re bringing in some experience and some new young talent and we’re building again.”

Pidcock is fresh off his overall win at the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia (“Baby Giro”) which concluded in early September. He won the 2019 UCI under-23 cyclocross world championships, and took the win at the 2017 Paris-Roubaix junior event, as well as winning the UCI world junior championships time trial in the same year.

Gregor Mühlberger moves to Movistar

Gregor Mühlberger, Warren Barguil, and Adam Yates. Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

The Movistar Team announced Tuesday that Gregor Mühlberger will be joining Eusebio Unzué’s Spanish squad in a three-year contract beginning in 2021.

Mühlberger, an all-arounder, is finishing his contract with Bora-Hansgrohe where he started his pro career in 2016.

The 26-year-old Austrian brings grand tour experience — finishing two Tours de France, a Giro d’Italia and a Vuelta a España — to the Spanish squad. He won the 2020 Sibiu Tour, and shared the podium with future Movistar teammates Alejandro Valverde and Marc Soler at the Mallorca Challenge.

“I’m super happy to have been given this chance by the team to sign with them and profit from all the opportunities that lie ahead in the next few years. It’s a good chance to improve my skills and get better in the future, chase some results on both the toughest one-day races and some mountainous one-week races like Dauphiné or Itzulia, but also try to help the leaders as much as I can in the Grand Tours,” Mühlberger said.

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