Miguel Ángel López back from suspension linked to drug trafficking investigation to stand on Vuelta a Burgos podium

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Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan) achieved his best result since the start of the season with second place in the final stage and third overall in the Vuelta a Burgos. The race was López’s first outing since being cleared to race following an investigation into his alleged role in a drug trafficking investigation. The Colombian has not been charged with any offence.

The 28-year-old is believed to have been linked to Dr Marcos Maynar, a university professor currently under investigation for alleged drug and money laundering offences. Astana Qazaqstan withdrew López from the race and waited for developments in a case they claimed to know nothing about. López was reportedly questioned by Spanish authorities, but Astana later issued a statement saying they had no contractual position from which they could continue to enforce the rider’s suspension.

Also Read: Miguel Ángel López Gets Green Light to Race Return After Drug Trafficking Investigation

López entered the final stage of the Vuelta Burgos finishing 16th overall, but on the final climb to Lagunas de Neila he launched a serious attack about 2km from the finish. Although a leading group of three, including stage winner Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and eventual race winner Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) made contact with López before the summit, the driver of ‘Astana was able to hold on to Almeida’s late attack and finish second on the stage.

The result catapulted López up the GC standings and into third place overall, tied with second place Almeida. López’s best overall results this season had been third overall at the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol earlier in the spring. He dropped out of the Giro d’Italia in May due to injury.

“It was my first race after a big break and I came here after a long period of recovery from my Giro d’Italia injury,” López said at the finish.

“So I can say that I’m quite happy with my performance here, because after such a long time I still miss the racing rhythm and that’s normal, I still need time to get back in shape. J hoped for a good result in this race and today I tried my best to win the stage and get on the final podium, well I couldn’t win, but I got a place on the podium final and I also won the mountain jersey, so this week looks good to me.

López also won the King of the Mountains jersey for his efforts. His next race will be the Vuelta a España later this month, where he will lead the line alongside Vincenzo Nibali on the Italian’s final grand lap before retirement.

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