Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (Ineos), pink jersey of the Giro d’Italia, considers that the race is entering its most favorable terrain and hopes to defend first place to the fullest, despite the difficulty of the remaining mountain stages and the opposition of rivals such as the Australian Jay Hindley, the Portuguese Joao Almeida and the Spanish Mikel Landa.
“It’s a very tough week. Bora controlled last Saturday in a short stage, of the classic type, but now there are stages with long climbs, with much more unevenness. I’m calm, and with the team I’m ready for what’s to come,” Carapaz said on the third rest day of the Giro.
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The cyclist from Carchen, winner of the Giro in 2019, trusts the route, in his team and in the motivation provided by wearing the pink jersey.
“The last week is favorable for me, I focused my preparation for the mountain, and we also have the pink jersey, which is an extra motivation for me and the team. There is a lot of Giro left, but I am motivated and I will give everything to defend it”, he commented.
for the Ecuadorian “The key to the Giro will undoubtedly be these stages that are coming”, starting with Tuesday’s, with Mortirolo on the tour.
“The stage is very hard, with more than 5,000 meters of unevenness. The fatigue will be noticeable, and in the following stages there will be no peace, so it will be necessary to concentrate every day.”
For Carapaz, the role of the team in the mountain stages will be important, much more than the weather factor, since he is not afraid of the possible rains forecast for this Tuesday.
“If it rains I don’t know what will happen, with the change in weather I have no problem. If it rains, better, and if the heat continues, too. The performance of the team will be more important, since being alone in the race has a lot of influence, but we have Porte, Sivakov, Castroviejo… we are the majority in the peloton. This week will be important because of the mountain stages, having teammates by your side gives confidence”, he commented.
Carapaz, who was airlifted to the hotel after Sunday’s stage, compared the circumstances of the Giro he won in 2019 with the current ones.
“This Giro is different, now I have more experience and a strong team behind me. We know that the pink jersey can be achieved. In 2019 we were not so sure. I feel better than then to face this decisive week”, he explained.
Regarding the rivals to take into account, Carapaz continues to consider the Australian Hindley, the Portuguese Joao Almeida and the Spanish Mikel Landa as candidates.
He also wanted to clarify regarding Sunday’s time trial in Verona that the result will depend “on these 4 days in the mountains” Carapaz highlighted the added morale and tranquility provided by seeing his family, with his two children, and friends following the Giro d’Italia near him.
“It is gratifying to see my family and all the compatriots residing or who have come from Ecuador to follow me in the race,” he concluded.
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