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Miguel Ángel López will be flying in new colors next season.
Team Movistar confirmed Saturday that it had terminated its contract with “superman” López after the Colombian’s high-profile abandon while riding high at the Vuelta a España last month.
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“Abarca Sports announces today the resolution by mutual agreement of the contract of the rider Miguel Ángel López, as of next October 1st,” read a statement from the team Saturday.
Movistar had extended its contract with López through 2023 shortly before the Vuelta rolled out of Burgos last month. It now seems unlikely that López will race for Movistar again ahead of his exit from the squad October 1.
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) September 18, 2021
López shocked the cycling world with his mid-race abandon midway through stage 20 of the Vuelta last month.
The Colombian had started the stage in third overall but looked to be leaking classification places after missing a key split in the action-packed stage out of Sanxenxo. López was reported to be enraged not to be receiving support from his teammates as his podium position slipped away from him while teammate Enric Mas galloped up the road to consolidate his second place on GC.
López eventually stepped off the bike, and despite the best efforts of team director Patxi Vila to persuade him otherwise, climbed into the team car and firmly out of favor with Movistar.
The news puts an end to a rollercoaster nine-month ride for Lopez and the Spanish team. The 27-year-old found his debut with “the blues” delayed by a bout of COVID-19 in the winter before scoring GC victory at the Vuelta a Andalucia and winning the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge. He then lost time early in the Tour de France and abandoned before stage 20.
“The team thanks Miguel Ángel López for his efforts and results throughout this season and wishes him good luck for the future,” read the team statement Saturday.
López’s next steps are still unconfirmed, though reports have linked him to a return to Astana. The Colombian turned pro with the team in 2015 and rode with them for six seasons before joining Movistar this year.