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López pokes fun at Movistar as Vuelta exit takes centre stage in new Netflix series

Vuelta Espana 2021 - 76th Edition - 17th stage Unquera - Lagos de Covadonga 185,8 km - 01/09/2021 - Miguel Angel Lopez (COL - Movistar Team) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021
López a few days before his exit from the Vuelta (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

It says a lot that the headlines and social media interest stemming from Movistar's team presentation on Thursday were dominated not by their riders and their 2022 goals but by the news that their hit documentary series would return for a third series.

The team themselves ensured this was the case, releasing a trailer for the much-anticipated new instalment of 'El Día Menos Pensado' – or 'The Least Expected Day – at the same time the likes of Alejandro Valverde and Annemiek van Vleuten were sharing their objectives for the 2022 season. 

Having shot to fame by shining a light on the occasionally  shambolic inner workings of the Spanish team – notably the tensions between Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa, and Marc Soler – the new series will give the fans exactly what they want: the inside story of Miguel Ángel López's sensational exit from the 2021 Vuelta a España. 

In the aftermath of the Colombian's controversial decision to stop mid-way through the penultimate stage of the Vuelta both parties reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement as they parted ways just a few weeks later.

However, in the trailer for the new series, López is seen sitting down for an interview, saying: "I wanted to come out and give my version of events."

The show is also set to offer a behind-the-scenes look at how that dramatic situation unfolded, with cameras in the team car and microphones picking up their race radio. 

"I'm stopping here. Many thanks, brothers," López is heard staying as he wheels to a halt, the directeur sportif in the team car shocked by his decision.  

Despite winning the queen stage just two days previously and sitting third overall, López had been caught out by a split in the GC group, with his father claiming he was ordered to stop chasing so as not do any supposed harm to teammate Enric Mas, who was second overall. 

Either way, López decided to down tools and hop into a team car. 

"Right, I'm stopping here," López repeats at the end of the trailer. "It was a pleasure, gentlemen."

After showing the trailer, the presenters at the Movistar event fell about laughing, and it seems that López himself, who has since moved to Astana, has taken it all in good humour, too. A few hours later he posted a picture of himself on a training ride in the mountains, incorporating the 'I'm stopping here' quote into a hashtag. 

"From this beautiful place, I can say: #YoMeQuedoPorAquí (#I'mstoppinghere)," López wrote.

The third series of El Día Menos Pensado is set to also cover Movistar's 2021 season as a whole, including their women's team, with Annemiek van Vleuten winning the Tour of Flanders amid a highly successful debut campaign on the Spanish squad. 

A release date has not yet been announced but we have the popcorn ready.

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.