The 26-year-old has been a promising Grand Tour contender for years. And at this year’s Tour, he showed the promise again if only by his stunning win on Col de la Loze, which put him on the podium.
Miguel Ángel López became a Grand Tour-focused rider after his move to the Kazakhstani squad in 2015 and 2018, he finished on the podium at both La Vuelta and the Giro. However, he has been inconsistent in recent seasons. That was revealed at this year’s Tour as well after he finished six minutes down on Tadej Pogačar in the time trial of stage 20 and slipped back to the sixth place overall.
“It was a hard day for me, I did all I could but I admit that it was a bad day. Someone always has something to lose and today, it was me who lost the race,” López admitted at the finish. “I did a good race. During all three weeks, I was up there among the best riders, fighting for the podium and today, I started aiming at the podium but it did not work out. I just missed one day to reach my goal. However, I am happy to be here at the final of my first Tour de France.”
Next year, he’ll have to wear a different jersey. Astana is funded by the Kazakhstani government and has faced repeated financial difficulties in recent years. Back in March, the team’s boss, Alexander Vinokourov, admitted the riders and the staff has not been paid since the start of 2020. Similar problems happened in 2018. It comes as no surprise then that the team cannot afford their star rider.
However, which team can offer Miguel Ángel López a position of an outright leader? Is there such a team? What do you think?