Embattled Colombian cycling star Miguel Angel López could soon be racing for Continental squad Medellín-EPM, several Colombian media sources have claimed.
López was sacked from the Astana Qazaqstan squad in December 2022 after what the team called “new evidence” was uncovered for his alleged connection to Dr Marcos Maynar, a Spanish university professor and doctor who is currently under investigation for allegedly forming part of a drug trafficking ring.
López, previously suspended last summer by Astana Qazaqstan and then reinstated due to a “lack of evidence” before his definitive exit from the squad in December, has insisted he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
According to a recent report in the Colombian edition of the sports newspaper AS (opens in new tab), López is now close to signing for the Continental-level Medellín-EPM squad. Another South American cycling outlet, revistamundociclistico (opens in new tab) also claims he has signed for a Colombian team, but without specifying which.
A gifted climber and former Grand Tour stage winner and podium finisher, López, 28, is one of the last major names in the sport still without a contract for 2023.
And in what could become the latest twist in the López saga, should his signing with one of Colombia’s strongest Continental teams be confirmed, López would coincide with ultra-veteran Spaniard Oscar Sevilla, who turned professional in 1998, four years after López was born.
A podium finisher in the 2001 Vuelta a España and a former best young rider in the Tour de France who has been based in Colombia for many years, Sevilla has been part of Medellín-EPM’s line-up since its inception in 2017. Another top veteran name in the squad is the former U23 World Champion, Colombian Fabio Duarte, who raced for Geox and ProContinental squad Colombia in the early 2010s.
At Medellín-EPM, there would be nothing to stop López lining up with Sevilla in the early season Vuelta a San Juan stage race in Argentina, where the Colombian squad is due to take part. If so, the Colombian would cross paths with both of his former European squads, Movistar, which he also left under a cloud after his last-minute abandon of the 2021 Vuelta a España, and Astana Qazaqstan.
More realistically given the paperwork involved in signing a new rider, revistamundociclistico reports that López debut in Medellín colours in the Colombian National Championships on February 2 has not been ruled out.
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