Richard Carapaz, Jhonatan Narvaez, and another member of the Ecuador team have been sent home from the Bolivarian Games – a regional multi-sport event held in honor of Simón Bolívar for athletes from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela – having being found drunk shortly after the opening ceremony on Sunday.
Carapaz, who rides for Movistar, and Ecuador national champion Narvaez (Axeon-Hagens Berman), who will turn pro next year with Quick-Step, were drinking with teammate Jonathan Caicedo in a restaurant near the team hotel in the Colombian city of Santa Marta when they were surprised by a group of delegates of the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee (COE).
"The cyclists were disrespectful towards a number of the delegates and did not want to leave the establishment," read a statement from the COE, which described the trio as being in 'a state of inebriation'. "At insistence, they were taken to the Delfin Hotel, the base for the cycling team. However, they attempted to go back out, and were stopped from doing so by members of the technical team."
The three riders were all due to compete in Wednesday's road race but, after discussions that went all the way to the ministry for sport back in Ecuador, the decision was taken to send them home.
"Ecuador's sporting system is not for people who show that type of behaviour," said COE president Augusto Moran, according to El Telegrafo. "Athletes, as well as competing for medals, must set an example for society in their behaviour, and these three cyclists did not do that."
Carapaz, Narvaez, and Caicedo all face disciplinary action and possible sanctions from the national cycling federation.
Contador's Polartec-Kometa team finalises roster
The team, set up alongside junior and U23 squads under the Alberto Contador Foundation, will act as a development squad for the Trek-Segafredo WorldTour team, where Contador rode this year before retiring.
The roster is made up of four Spaniards in Diego Pablo Sevilla, Juan Camacho, Isaac Cantón and Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, two Italians in Michele Gazzoli and Matteo Moschetti, along with Patrick Gamper (Austria), Michel Ries (Luxembourg), Awet Habtom (Eritrea), Willen Inkelaar (Holland), and Wilson Estiben Peña (Colombia).
"Every rider in the team is here because he offers a great margin for improvement and we trust in him," Basso said. "We have eleven riders, but we don't exclude to add some others, because we already follow very closely both the cyclists integrated in the Contador Foundation and others outside of it. Our next appointment will be in Arizona, where some of the Continental riders will travel with the U23s."
Nine of the 11 gathered in Italy last week at the Mapei Sport Centre for the first winter camp ahead of the team's debut season.
"It was a very important meeting, because it was the first time that the team met to perform physical and performance tests, as well as to know the work system that we will have throughout the season and receive their first personalized training," added Basso. "I am very happy with the work done these days."
Caja-Rural finalizes 2018 roster with Moreira
Caja Rural - Seguros RGA announced on Monday that its roster has been completed with the signing of Uruguayan Mauricio Moreira. The 22-year-old spent the previous two seasons racing for the development team.
Moreira had a successful under-23 campaign with four victories in his first season. This year he won the overall victory at the Vuelta Zamora and a stage in the Vuelta Sevilla. He also represented Uruguay at the under-23 World Championships in Bergen.
“The past two years with the development team have been a huge learning curve, many tough moments but also many shared successes. To be able to make the step up to the pro team is a real pleasure for me and to be a able to join my countryman Fabricio Ferrari is an added plus as he is someone I look up to in the sport.
"I think the long, hilly races suit me best - I'm not a pure climber but I can be competitive over hilly terrain. My objective is to continue progressing as I have been over the last number of years, to adapt to the jump in level and to learn as much as I can from the other riders and staff. I'll be there to help the team as much as possible and to work for our leaders whenever necessary."
Cyclingnews Reader Poll
We have extended the deadline for the 2017 Cyclingnews Reader Poll, so you have three days left to have your say on the highlights of the 2017 season and be in with the chance to win a Pinarello Dogma F10 Disk.
Our annual poll invites readers to join us in looking back at the season and pick the riders, teams, races, moments and equipment that have stood out from the pack. Who was the best rider of the year? What was the most exciting race? This is the chance to have your say.
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