Gorka Izagirre rejoins Movistar on a two-year deal

CORTINA DAMPEZZO ITALY MAY 24 Gorka Izagirre Insausti of Spain and Team Astana Premier Tech in breakaway during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 16 a 153km stage shortened due to bad weather conditions from Sacile to Cortina dAmpezzo 1210m girodiitalia Giro on May 24 2021 in Cortina dAmpezzo Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Gorka Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech) is heading to Movistar for 2022 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Gorka Izagirre is on his way back to Movistar, rejoining the Spanish team on a two-year deal following a three-year spell at Astana-Premier Tech.

The 34-year-old rode for Movistar between the 2014 and 2017 seasons after moving from Euskaltel-Euskadi, picking up wins at the Klasika Primavera, Prueba Villafranca, and stage 8 of the 2017 Giro d'Italia.

Since then, Izagirre has raced a year at Bahrain-Merida and three at Astana, with his last victory coming at the Gran Trittico Lombardo in August 2020.

The transfer is Movistar's fifth of the current window, with Izagirre joining fellow Astana teammates Oscar Rodríguez and Alex Aranburu, as well as Oier Lazkano (from Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), and Max Kanter (from Team DSM) in moving.

In a team-issued statement, Izagirre said that he likened the move to coming home, adding that he hoped he could assist the team with his wealth of experience.

"I’m so happy to come back to the Movistar Team!" he said. "The four years I spent with this team were the best of my career, both from a sporting point of view and as a group of teammates who become best friends.

"These last few years for me have been just like when a young kid leaves his home and travels elsewhere: I’ve known other places in the world, other environments, but in the end, I wanted to come back at some point. I hope to bring back all of my experience, everything I’ve been taught, to give everything for this team once again."

The move means that Izagirre and his younger brother Ion will be on separate teams for only the second time in their professional careers. The pair have spent time at Euskaltel-Euskadi, Movistar, Bahrain and Astana together over the years, with Ion moving to Bahrain a season earlier. Next year he will transfer to Cofidis one a one-year deal.

The Izagirre brothers are among a number of outgoing riders at Astana for the 2022 season as the team is revamped. As well as them, Aranburu and Rodríguez, Aleksandr Vlasov (to Bora-Hansgrohe), Merhawi Kudus (to EF Education-Nippo), and Jonas Gregaard (to Uno-X) are also leaving, while Vincenzo Nibali, Gianni Moscon, David de la Cruz, and Joe Dombrowski are confirmed as joining the team.

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