Miguel Ángel López is likely to target the Tour de France and Vuelta a España in 2021, his first season at Movistar. He joined the squad from Astana, where he spent the first six seasons of his professional career.
López made his Tour debut in 2020 and he looked poised to finish on the podium after winning atop the Col de la Loze, but he dropped to 6th place overall after a subdued showing in the time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles.
Two weeks later, López was on the start line of the Giro d’Italia to ride in support of Jakob Fuglsang, but his race ended on the opening day when he crashed heavily in the stage 1 time trial in Palermo.
Although López sustained no fractures in the crash, he underwent surgery to treat a wound near his iliac artery, and he has only recently returned to training.
"Luckily, everything is going very well in terms of my recovery and rehabilitation," López said, according to Mundo Ciclistico. "We have carefully followed all the instructions, and I was allowed to get back on the bike after two and a half months without doing so, which is a reason for joy and optimism about what is coming up."
After beginning his season in early February in recent years, López expects to have a later start to his 2021 campaign due to his delayed winter preparation. His full race programme has yet to be confirmed but he expects to participate at the Tour and the Vuelta. The 26-year-old will share Grand Tour leadership with Enric Mas, who placed 5th at both the Tour and the Vuelta in 2020.
"On January 7, the first training camp will be held to get in touch with the team and study various aspects such as the 2021 calendar," said López.
"Nothing is confirmed, but I think my schedule should start a little late, more or less in March, as I’m only starting to train now. I think we’ll focus on the Tour and the Vuelta."
López’s tenure at Astana saw him win the Tour de Suisse in 2016 and place on the podium of both the Giro and the Tour in 2018. He also landed the Volta a Catalunya in 2019.
"They were six wonderful years, I grew up and learned a lot with them," said López. "You don’t want to leave, but life is like that. These changes are needed, and I hope it’s for the better."
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