Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz is still smiling despite his second-place finish in the prestigious Giro d’Italia

May 30, 2022 | 3 comments

By Stephen Farrand

Richard Carapaz turned 29 on the day of the final stage of the 2022 Giro d’Italia around Verona. His celebrations may have been bittersweet after victory escaped him and Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) pulled on the maglia rosa, but he was still smiling after the final podium ceremony, with few regrets about his race.

Richard Carapaz finished second Sunday in the Giro d’Italia.

Three years ago Carapaz was the first Ecuadorian rider to win the Giro d’Italia, now Hindley is the first Australian to pull on the winner’s final maglia rosa and lift the Trofeo Infinito. “I don’t feel sad. The truth is I’m very happy,” Carapaz insisted.

“Over the years I’ve been a pro, I’ve shown I can be at the highest level and this was no exception. Personally, I’m very, very, happy because it’s a great second place in the Giro d’Italia. “Only one rider can win, so I make do with second place. While I’m still around, I’ll keep trying to win. The most important thing is that I marked my birthday doing what I love most.”

Carapaz finished an impressive 10th in the Verona time trial, giving his all to the very end. He was cheered by the many Ecuadoran fans in the Roman amphitheatre and greeted by his wife and young children. The final general classification showed that Carapaz finished 1:18 down on Hindley, with Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) completing the final podium at 3:24.

Carapaz was locked in a near race-long battle with Hindley, the two swapping seconds in the opening time trial and then via time bonuses. Hindley won on the Blockhaus mountain finish but Carapaz took the maglia rosa on stage 14 around the steep Turin hills, gaining 15 seconds on Hindley.

He and Ineos Grenadiers worked hard to defend the jersey but ultimately the 2022 Giro d’Italia wes decided on the final 3.5km of the steep Marmolada climb to the finish of stage 20. When Hindley accelerated, Carapaz was unable to follow him and then suffered under his efforts.

“The whole race was very hard and very competitive,” Carapaz explained. “Yesterday [Saturday] I had a bad day. It wasn’t my day, and that’s the small thing that made the difference. Today, I was where I needed to be, but in the end, Hindley won, so congratulations to him.”

Carapaz has now ridden nine Grand Tours and finished in the top three five times, and an impressive five times. He insisted he is still learning and trying to improve. “There are many things that I have to keep working on,” he said, partially indicating where he may have lost the 2022 Giro d’Italia.

“It was quite a strange Giro, with the heat, some of the transfers, but in general, it was, like I said, a pretty competitive Giro. You win and you lose. The truth is, this isn’t a bad thing. This will give me strength to come back again.”

Carapaz will not be part of the Ineos Grenadiers squad for the Tour de France. He will now take a break and likely head home to Ecuador, before leading Ineos Grenadiers at the Vuelta a Espana. “Now I have a second objective: the Vuella but first I need to have a break,” he said.

Carapaz also has to decide his plans for the future as his contract with Ineos Grenadiers ends this year.

He could stay at Ineos Grenadiers but has also been linked to Movistar, Arkéa-Samsic and elsewhere. He is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks and then formally announce any change of team after the UCI deadline of August 1.

Credit: Cycling News


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