Thursday, August 28, 2014

Who is Miguel Angel Lopez?

Since most do not know much about the Colombian rider that is currently leading the Tour de l'Avenir, let us take a moment to learn about Miguel Angel Lopez. And trust me, it won't take long because I haven't found out much about him after hours of searching.

Lopez hails from Boyaca, which is one of the bastions of Colombian cycling. If you don't know anyone from Boyaca, just think about Juan Mauricio Soler, the Parra brothers, Felix Cardenas, Oliverio Rincon and of course, Nairo (and Dayer) Quintana.
Hailing from the town of Pesca, Lopez took the Colombian U23 scene by storm this year after winning the queen stage of the Vuelta de la Juventud (basically the Vuelta a Colombia U23) and taking the overall title as well. The winners of the race are a who's who of Colombian cycling and his win there cements him into some great company. Just this year alone, Lopez, who rides for the Boyaca Lottery, has won 8 races in Colombia including an uphill time trial in the Clasica de Fusagasuga where he beat none other than non-repentant doping scumbag Oscar Sevilla. Just for doing that, I like him.

Results are a bit scarce for me to find about Lopez from last year or even as a junior. The Tour de l'Avenir is his first big international event but I was able to turn up a nice gem from 2012, Lopez' last year as a junior cyclist. In the prologue of the 2012 Clasica del Meta, Lopez beat out recent Vuelta a Colombia champion Felix Cardenas by a few milliseconds. While it wasn't pure uphill or even a long effort, it definitely shows Lopez talents. All that I'm able to find about him are a few different results as a junior from 2012; not even anything from the Vuelta de la Juventud from 2013. His rise seems to be meteoric and if anyone out there has any more informations, please feel free to let me know.

This is a fun thing I like about cycling. Finding out all of the facts and what not is what I obsess over but when next to nothing is known about someone when they come out of know where, I always create fictions in my head about where they came from and their burning passion. Like if Lopez saw a bike race when he was 6 and dedicated himself to cycling or if he just casually picked it up and never took it too seriously until he was 18 or so. Perhaps he trained drafting off trucks or had to pedal at night because of school or working commitments? I don't know. But I'd love to find out about him more.

Edit: So I've gotten a few tips from people and I've gotten some more information about our Tour de l'Avenir winner.

-Lopez entered into a local race as a junior and it was electric and as he puts it, "he just went from there."

-Lopez has a nickname of "El Superman" because he was attacked while out training one day. Thieves tried to take his bike and during the scuffle, Lopez was stabbed but fought off his attackers.

-Lopez has had a few injuries in his career that have kept him under the radar. He did not participate in the Vuelta a Colombia U23 last year and he got over a knee injury earlier this year before going to win the Vuelta a Colombia U23 overall.

1 comment:

  1. Here is a clip from a show showcasing young talent in Colombia.
    It's in Spanish but he just mentions that someone convinced hm to race a local race and how he just kept winning.
    Hope it helps a bit.