Pro Cyclist Miguel Angel Lopez Kidnapped and Robbed in Colombia
A Terrifying Encounter
In a shocking development, professional cyclist Miguel Angel Lopez fell victim to a kidnapping and robbery in his native Colombia. The 29-year-old sportsman was held against his will for three hours as the perpetrators stole his money, mobile phone, and vehicle. The incident unraveled around 5pm local time on Thursday at Lopez’s farm in Pesca, Colombia, and was reported to the police by Lopez himself soon after he was released.
Conflicting Reports on the Amount Stolen
News reports initially stated an amount of $800,000 as the sum stolen. However, this figure has been disputed, with some outlets suggesting that the actual amount taken was 800,000 Colombian pesos, equivalent to approximately $200. This latter sum is now generally accepted as the correct figure.
A Show of Solidarity
Following the unfortunate incident, Lopez’s current team, Team Medellin EPM, expressed their solidarity with the cyclist on social media. They called upon Colombians to rally around their idol and offer him all the necessary support during this challenging time. The team’s message underscored their unwavering support for Lopez, reiterating, “We are with you, champion.”
Lopez’s Cycling Career and Recent Troubles
Lopez, a skilled climber, has been a prominent figure in the world of professional cycling since 2015. He began his career with Astana, with whom he rode until 2021 before joining Movistar for a year. However, he returned to Astana shortly after, only to lose his place in the team due to a temporary ban issued by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The suspension, which has prevented Lopez from participating in professional races since July, is related to a “potential anti-doping violation” concerning the use of prohibited substances prior to the start of the 2022 Tour of Italy. Lopez has consistently maintained his innocence and expressed his desire to bring his case with Astana to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
A Remarkable Record
Despite the recent controversies, Lopez’s accomplishments in the cycling arena are undeniable. He boasts four week-long race victories, including the Tour of Switzerland in 2016, the Tour of Catalonia in 2019, the Tour of Andalusia in 2021, and the Tour of San Juan in 2023. Additionally, he emerged as the Colombian champion in time trial and won the one-day race Milan–Turin in 2016. In three-week races, Lopez has bagged four stages: one in the 2020 Tour de France and three in the 2017 and 2021 Tours of Spain.
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