Carapaz: I'm not sorry or sad to have left Movistar

Richard Carapaz rides behind his 2019 Movistar teammates
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Richard Carapaz has again dismissed the idea that he was disloyal to Movistar, saying that he owed the team nothing after departing for Ineos ahead of the 2020 season.

The 2019 Giro d’Italia winner was criticised as “not loyal” by Movistar directeur sportif Pablo Lastras in the Netflix documentary El dia menos pensado [‘The least expected day’], which covers Movistar's 2019 season.

Carapaz shared leadership of Movistar with Mikel Landa on the 2019 Giro, where they claimed first and fourth overall, respectively. 

In a YouTube interview with extreme athlete Valentí Sanjuan, Carapaz suggested that the hierarchy had not always been clear even as he rode towards eventual victory in Verona. The Ecuadorian claimed the maglia rosa after winning at Courmayeur on stage 14, and he defended his lead through the final week.

“Living those circumstances is very difficult,” Carapaz said. “It's like having a knife over your head and not knowing when it will fall. There were situations in the race where both of us were there and you didn't know who was riding for whom.

“I have no doubt about what it would have been like at Movistar if I had stayed on as a leader. It was the right time and I don't regret a thing. We won a Grand Tour at Movistar. Even if they call me everything, I owe them nothing. I am not sorry or sad that I left.”

Carapaz confirmed recently that he will return to the Giro d’Italia in 2020, assuming the race goes ahead on its rescheduled dates of October 3-25. While Egan Bernal, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas are all set to ride at the Tour de France, Carapaz is poised to be the lone leader of Team Ineos at the corsa rosa.

“Ineos told me, ‘Richard, we are going to adapt to you, it is not you who has to adapt to us.’ At Movistar, I didn’t have the opportunity to have a group adapt to me,” said Carapaz, whose sole outing for Team Ineos thus far came at the Tour Colombia 2.1 in February.

“Ineos looks like NASA. When I came here, there were many things that surprised me that I had never experienced before.”

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