Cycling's Miguel Angel Lopez returns to Astana

Paris (AFP) –


Colombian climb specialist Miguel Angel Lopez has signed a two-year deal to rejoin cycling's Astana Qazaqstan Team.

Riding for Movistar, Lopez pulled out of the Vuelta a Espana in September while in third place, to the fury of his team, who announced shortly afterwards they would separate by mutual consent.

"Coming back to the Astana team is a return home," said Lopez.

He previously spent six seasons with Astana from 2015 to 2020, achieving most of his major results there including GC victories at Tour de Suisse in 2016, the Volta a Catalunya in 2019 and the Tour of Colombia the same year.

He was also on the podium at both the Giro and the Vuelta in 2018.

Astana general manager Alexander Vinokourov said he was delighted.

"Miguel Angel has gained serious experience, which, perhaps, he lacked in our team," said Vinokourov who added Lopez was "still one of the strongest riders in the world".