• Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana Pro Team (Getty)Source: Getty
Colombian rider Miguel Ángel López is set to leave Astana Pro Team at the end of this year after spending six years with the Kazakhstani team.
By
SBS Cycling Central

23 Sep 2020 - 7:39 AM 

The news comes after López's Tour de France debut, where he won stage 17 on the Col de La Loze and was third in the GC classification until a poor performance in the time trial on La Planche des Belles Filles, which caused him to finish sixth overall in Paris.

López reflects on 'difficult day' as Porte secures podium spot
Miguel Angel López (Astana) was third ahead of Stage 20 of the 2020 Tour de France, but plummeted down the general classification standings after a disappointing individual time trial on Sunday morning (AEST).
Superman Lopez soars to victory on Tour's highest peak
Miguel Ángel López flew to victory on the highest point of the 2020 Tour de France, attacking three kilometres from the summit as behind him Primož Roglič finally gapped Tadej Pogačar. Australian Richie Porte hung tough to now sit fourth overall behind López.

The 26-year-old will travel to Imola to compete in the UCI World Championships this week before the Giro d'Italia in early October, set to be his final race for the team. 

Kazakhstani news outlet Prosports.kz reported team manager Alexandre Vinokourov cited budget restrictions as the reason for López's departure, Astana not being able to afford to keep him past 2021 as it attempts to financially recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the Tour in April, the team cut riders and staff wages by 30 percent as a result of the pandemic, while earlier reports claimed payments had been delayed for the start of the season, with Astana citing administrative issues as the cause.

López departs Astana after placing on the podium at the 2018 Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, with victories at the Tour de Suisse, Volta a Catalunya and Milano-Torino.

Watch the UCI World Championships live on SBS, starting from Thursday the 24th of September with the Women's Elite Time trial from 10:40pm AEST on SBS On Demand.