Ivan Sosa says Ineos departure was 'complicated'

Tour de la Provence 2021 6th Edition 3rd stage AIstres Mont VentouxChalet Reynard 1539 km 13022021 Ivan Ramiro Sosa COL Ineos Grenadiers photo William Cannarella CVBettiniPhoto2021
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Ivan Sosa is set to ride the Giro d’Italia alongside Alejandro Valverde in his debut season at Movistar. The Colombian joined the team this winter after three seasons at Ineos Grenadiers.

Sosa impressed in early 2021 by winning the Tour de la Provence, but he struggled to make an impact thereafter and he was left out of the team that helped his fellow countryman Egan Bernal to overall victory at the Giro.

After lining out at the Volta ao Algarve in May, Sosa didn’t race again until he competed in a series of one-day events in Italy in September and October. By then, his exit from Ineos had already been confirmed.

“The goodbye was complicated,” Sosa told Marca. “Many things happened, but I left happy because I learned a lot. It was a good experience in general, and I now have to take advantage of how I grew.”

The 24-year-old also expressed disappointment as missing out on selection for all three Grand Tours in 2021.

“It hurt me a lot. The team was focused on something else,” he said. “Things happened, I don't want to talk too much about it. Everything serves as a learning experience.”

Sosa had already caught the eye during his time at Gianni Savio’s Androni squad, winning the Vuelta a Burgos in 2018, a victory he repeated in Ineos colours the following summer. He also rode in two Grand Tours during his time at Ineos, placing 44th at the 2019 Giro and 62nd in the 2020 Vuelta a España.

Movistar manager Eusebio Unzué confirmed that Sosa is slated to line out at this year’s Giro, where Valverde will set out as team leader.

“I like the Giro. It has mountains and it suits me. I'll try to do well,” said Sosa. Asked to define “doing well,” he said: “Looking for stage wins without ruling out the overall. I would love the podium.”

Sosa is currently training with his new team in Almeria, and although Ineos has long had a core of Spanish speaking riders on its roster, he acknowledged that communication was more straightforward at Movistar.

“In the end, you can communicate in Spanish. It's easier this way,” he said. “Everyone shares their thoughts with you, I think it's great. We are working well and the climate is the right one to start with.”

Sosa’s first competitive outing for Movistar will come at the Challenge Mallorca later this month, and he will also return to the Tour de la Provence, which he won last February, though the rest of his early-season is still to be defined.

“At the moment I haven't talked to anyone about whether I am a leader or not,” Sosa said. “We are all focused on the races at the beginning of the year, then we'll see. We have a nice calendar and I think we can do well. We'll see how we start everything. I don't really know what my condition is.”

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