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López signs two-year extension with Movistar

SAINTLARYSOULAN COL DU PORTET FRANCE JULY 14 Miguel ngel Lpez of Colombia and Movistar Team at Col du Portet 2215m during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 17 a 1784km stage from Muret to SaintLarySoulan Col du Portet 2215m LeTour TDF2021 on July 14 2021 in SaintLarySoulan Col du Portet France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Miguel Angel López (Movistar) at the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Movistar have announced that team leader Miguel Angel López has renewed his contract with the team, with a new two-year deal set to carry him through to the end of the 2023 season.

The Colombian, who joined the Spanish squad from Astana this year after spending six years at the Kazakhstani team, has three wins to his name in 2021, including the Vuelta a Andalucía and Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge.

López is set to lead the team at the upcoming Vuelta a España following a Tour de France campaign ruined by early crashes. The 27-year-old said that he's happy to continue at the team and hopes to fight for a Grand Tour victory over the next two years.

"I'm so happy about this two-year extension," he said. "I'm really motivated for what's coming up.

"I'm hoping I can get some important victories in this new term and hopefully fight for a victory in one of the Grand Tours, which has always been my big dream in cycling."

López will be joined in co-leadership of the team going forward by Spaniard Enric Mas, while veteran Alejandro Valverde could stall retirement once again to continue in 2022. 

Marc Soler is leaving for UAE Team Emirates next year, while media reports from Spain have linked Iván Sosa, Alex Aranburu and Gorka Izagirre to Movistar.

Team boss Eusebio Unzué noted that López has persevered through several setbacks in 2021, including suffering from COVID-19 early in the year, to take several important victories. He added that he and Mas will be at the forefront of the team going forward.

"The year has been really difficult for Miguel Angel, partly due to the COVID-19 he contracted before what would have been his first meeting with the team at our Almería training camp," Unzué said.

"Fortunately, with the Tour still far away, he could recover in time from both the illness and his 2020 injury, and in that road leading up to the Tour, he was able to share his winning quality with the team, both in Andalucía and, more importantly, his resounding success at the Mont Ventoux classic. He wasn't fortunate enough at the Tour de France and the race soon saw him out of contention.

"Having him with us for the next few years is a significant reinforcement to the future of this team. Obviously, he's one who will always be aiming at great results at three-week Grand Tours, but surely he'll be able to also excel at some one-week races, most of which suit his characteristics really well. His abilities and Enric's should allow us be up there within the top names at many moments of the season."