Verona - Richard
Carapaz has emerged from the shadows of cycling's big guns after
winning the Giro d'Italia on Sunday, riding into Verona's ancient Roman
Arena to seal his first ever Grand Tour victory in the final-day time
The Movistar rider's 36th place finish in Sunday's final stage, won
by American Chad Haga, was enough for the 26-year-old to become the
first Ecuadorian to win one of the sport's three major tours.
Carapaz dominated the second half of this year's race, particularly
in the mountains, claiming the coveted pink jersey in just his third
full season as a professional rider after starting the race as a support
rider for teammate Mikel Landa.
"This is the biggest moment of my sporting life," said the rider from
Playa Alta, high in the mountains of northern Ecuador near the border
"In this final time trial I just suffered from start to finish until I
reached the arena of Verona. It's fabulous to win the Giro d'Italia."
Carapaz had remained under the radar for much of the race,
particularly after having lost time with mechanical problems on stage
three, and second-placed Vincenzo Nibali of Italy conceded it had been a
mistake to underestimate the Ecuadorian given his fourth-placed finish
"Without a doubt we made the mistake of giving him too much space,"
conceded two-time former winner Nibali, who finished second overall at
The Sicilian, nicknamed the 'Shark', had focused too much on
Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who finished third overall, after the Team
Jumbo–Visma rider's strong start to the season and early success on the
Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin, winner in 2017, dropped out of the race
after a fall in the first week, with defending champion Chris Froome of
Britain not competing.
Carapaz surged ahead of Landa as the race moved into the mountains.
He won two stages - the fourth at Frascati and 14th at Courmayeur -
pulling ahead on the foot of Mont Blanc in the Alps and taking the pink
jersey eight days from the finish.
He showed no signs of weakness in a race made difficult by the rainy
days, becoming just the second South American to win the Giro after
Colombian Nairo Quintana in 2014.
Roglic, winner of the first two stages, moved back to third overall
for his first podium finish on a Grand Tour, at the expense of Landa who
dropped to fourth.
The Slovenian finished 10th in the time trial just behind Nibali.
The 30-year-old Haga won the stage ahead of Belgian duo Victor Campenaerts and Thomas De Gendt, both riding for Lotto.
"Everything is just jumbled up in my head right now," said the American.
"It's been a rollercoaster for sure, the race started really well and then went bad for a while."
There was more disappointment for Britain's Simon Yates, who came
into the race warning his rivals that he was "the number one favourite".
The Mitchelton-Scott rider had dominated most of last year's race
before Froome snatched victory, and this year finished eighth, nearly
eight minutes behind Carapaz.
Results after Sunday's 21st and final stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 17km time-trial in Verona:
1. Chad Haga (USA/SUN) 22min 7sec (average speed: 46.1 km/h), 2. Victor Campenaerts (BEL/LOT) at 4sec, 3. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 6sec, 4. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BAH) 9sec, 5. Josef Cerný (CZE/FDJ) 11, 6. Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE/FDJ) 11, 7. Pello Bilbao (ESP/AST) 17, 8. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA/AND) 20, 9. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 23, 10. Primoz Roglic (SLO/JUM) 26, 11. Luke Durbridge (AUS/MIT) 27, 12. Tom Bohli (SUI/UAE) 34, 13. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 36, 14. Jan Polanc (SLO/UAE) 37, 15. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 40.
21. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 57sec, 24. Simon Yates (GBR/MIT) 1:00, 37. Richard Carapaz (ECU/MOV) 1:12.
Final overall results
1. Richard Carapaz (ECU/MOV) 90h 01min 47sec, 2. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) at 1:05, 3. Primoz Roglic (SLO/JUM) 2:30, 4. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 2:38, 5. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 5:43, 6. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 6:56, 7. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) 7:26, 8. Simon Yates (GBR/MIT) 7:49, 9. Pavel Sivakov (RUS/INE) 8:56, 10. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 12:14, 11. Hugh Carthy (GBR/EF1) 16:36, 12. Joe Dombrowski (USA/EF1) 20:12, 13. Valentin Madouas (FRA/FDJ) 21:59, 14. Davide Formolo (ITA/BOR) 22:38.
Jersey winners from the 102nd edition of the Giro d'Italia which ended on Sunday in Verona:
Overall winner (pink jersey): Richard Carapaz (ECU/Movistar)
Sprinter (cyclamen jersey): Pascal Ackermann (GER/Bora)
King of the mountains (blue jersey): Giulio Ciccone (ITA/Trek)
Best young rider (white jersey): Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/Astana)