He does not think about sports results or puts pressure on himself. Miguel Ángel López is trying to digest everything that has happened in the last month and to take advantage of the opportunity that Team Medellín gave him, that this Tuesday he presented his squad after opening the doors to the former Astana runner at the most complex moment of his sports career.
“To thank the team for the beautiful opportunity and for the love they are giving me. That is what I need in these difficult moments, affection and confidence. I’m going to run in one of the best national peloton teamsa small team, but wanting to be face to face with the best, with the WorldTours, and with a lot of desire to beat them”, Superman said at a press conference.
Although the event in Medellín, held in a Specialized brand store, focused on exalting the impact that the return of an elite runner will cause, the one born in Pesca (Boyacá) also referred to his surprise departure from Astana in December for alleged connections linking him to a network of prohibited drugs.
For him, “that the entire medium, the networks speak or make insinuations that ‘he is doped’… I remain very calm because inside me, in my heart I know that my biological passport is intact, I don’t have any problem. My biological passport has no blemish. All my exams are perfect, until the last 15-20 days ago, so I think I’ll be able to be there forever, I have no problem and it will be solved at any time”.
However, López acknowledged that this episode, which has him out of the WorldTour and clinging to the Antioquia squad, with which he will officially start the calendar in the Vuelta a San Juan, It did hurt his image before the cycling world and he has received harsh accusations that he hopes to leave behind in this new stage.
“I think it affects the image because everyone talks, everyone reproaches you, everyone throws dirty water at you. The important thing now is to focus on this beautiful opportunity that we have with my team, Team Medellín, and enjoy every moment, recharge with energy and positivity, good energy from the love of the people and the family,” said the athlete.
Superman and running again in Colombia, another challenge
With a present to explore, López’s intention will be to enjoy and receive the affection of the people now that he will be closer to the Colombian fans. He already felt in the Clásica de Villeta, that he won with solvency, the affection of his followers.
Superman is not distracted by praise or coming from competing at the highest level in Europe. He understands that the experience he is about to live will face unknown terrain and a way of competing that he will discover along the way.
“It’s a pretty high level. I don’t know if I will win a Tour of Colombia. Here the level is tremendous and the way of competing is different. I plan to enjoy myself to the fullest regardless of any result (…) Here there is a lot of fire, a lot of fire at the top”, he said.
In pictures, the presentation of Team Medellín with Superman
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La Vuelta a San Juan and Team Medellín’s plans
Along with colleagues such as Oscar Sevilla, Fabio Duarte, Aldemar Reyes and Walter Vargas, among others, will travel to Argentina to face the first challenge of the season: the Vuelta a San Juan, where he will meet Remco Evenepoel and Egan Bernal, among other world cycling figures.
“In San Juan there is a high level, a lot of boss and all the teams. It is an ideal race to start the season”, said Superman, and then anticipated that “everyone is getting ready. There is going to be a fierce battle with all the bosses. We hope to be there very close with them”.
For his part, the sports director of Team Medellín, José Julián Velásquez, pointed out that they went for López seeing him as a “great opportunity” for the image of the team and the city, and that they do not pressure him with sports results because the intention is that the boyacense “recharge from cycling and the human warmth of the people of Colombiathat inspires the children of the country to ride a bicycle”.
He also specified that the broker is free to leave if he receives an interesting offer from a competitive team in Europe. “We all prefer to see Miguel Ángel disputing a Tour de France suddenly winning the Vuelta Colombia”, said Chivo Velásquez during the presentation of his team.