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Iván Sosa was being touted as “the next big thing” of Colombian cycling. Until he wasn’t.
Sosa is looking to refind his rhythm with Team Movistar after fading from view at Ineos Grenadiers last season.
The 24-year-old joined the Spanish crew this winter after being benched by Ineos for much of last year in what appears to have been a tricky final season with his former team.
“The goodbye was complicated,” Sosa told Marca this week. “Many things happened, but I’m happy because I’ve learned a lot. It was a good experience in general and everything that I have learned I now have to take advantage of.”
Sosa rode the tried-and-trusted route from Colombia to Europe via Gianni Savio’s Androni squad before being snapped up by Team Sky in 2019. A series of stage-race wins, including at last February’s Tour de la Provence, promised big things.
But then things went quiet as results turned south, and Sosa was bypassed for all three of 2021’s grand tours.
“It hurt a lot,” Sosa said of being left on the bench by Ineos Grenadiers. “The team was focused on other things and its energy was elsewhere. Things were happening, I don’t want to talk too much about that either. Everything serves as a learning experience.”
Sosa didn’t reveal what was happening behind the scenes with his former team or between the newly reconciled Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué and his agent Giuseppe Acquadro. Instead, turning the page is the top of his attention.
Sosa’s shift to Movistar will see him slot in as a central figure alongside Enric Mas and Alejandro Valverde in 2022.
His first big opportunity will come at this year’s Giro d’Italia, where he and Valverde will go up against the likes of Richard Carapaz, Simon Yates, and former Movistar rider Miguel Ángel López in the race for pink.
“I like the Giro. It has mountains and it suits me,” Sosa said. “I will try to do well … I hope to look for stage wins without ruling out the general classification. I would love the podium.”
And if it doesn’t work this May, Sosa has got a two-year deal with Movistar and the backing of his boss Unzué, who hopes to nurture the best from his new recruit, saying last week he will let the Colombian race “without pressure”.
“I am in that growth process,” Sosa said. “I think I can be fighting for the podiums in the big ones in the future, although I still have a long way to go. Hopefully I can do something important this year at the Giro.”