Andalusian rider Juan Pedro López (Lebrija, Seville; 31 July 1997) will move into the Continental ranks with Polartec-Kometa Continental Team, with effect from 1 June. A graduate of the Fundacion Contador’s under-23 setup, he becomes the 12th rider in the structure’s Continental squad.
“I don’t believe it,” said Lopez, “the team didn’t confirm it until Sunday night and it was a shock. They didn’t believe it at home either. I’m very happy about this opportunity, to move up from one category to another was a dream. I’m very, very excited. I don’t have a specific dream, but I do have that desire to be able to race in a WorldTour team one day. But I’m still young and it’s important to take things step-by-step.
López, popularly known as Juanpe, was proclaimed the winner of the Vuelta al Bidasoa last Saturday, a race in which he won the first stage and defended his lead until the end of the race. The rider from Lebrija also finished fourth in the overall final of the Spanish Elite and U23 Cups, a tournament where he had a mathematical chance of victory until the last round, the Gran Premio Macario de Alcala de Henares, when he finished third in the standings. In the Spanish Cup he won his third race, the Trofeo Guerrita of Alcantarilla (Murcia).
For Rafa Diaz Justo, director at Polartec-Kometa U23: “Juan Pedro is a rider we know well. He has followed the entire training process of the Foundation. As a junior, without standing out as the best, he did bring a lot of things and showed signs of what is still to come. The margins of progression were very interesting. His first two years in the [under-23] category were for adapting to the higher racing level, but last year  we saw that he could make a leap forward and so we planned this campaign. He’s worked so hard. And one of the things I’ve enjoyed most is seeing him with the additional pressure of being a leader, with what it entails, not only sustaining that role, but growing. He is very young, but I think he is currently one of the three or four riders with the brightest future in our country today”.
Polartec-Kometa rides the Ronde de l’Isard starting on Thursday this week.