The Ineos Grenadiers leader was the only co-leader of his team to avoid the carnage of the first week, staying in podium contention throughout the Tour before moving up to third in the Pyrenees.
A 23rd place finish in the final time trial, 2:09 down on stage winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) saw him secure his third Grand Tour podium in three years, 7:03 behind overall victor Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).
"I did everything I could to get a good result in the Tour," Carapaz said after stage 20. "This is a good result for me."
Third in Paris – a podium spot to add to his 2019 Giro d'Italia win and 2020 Vuelta a España second place – is a fair result given the racing of the Tour's final week, with Carapaz taking third place behind Pogačar and second-placed man Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) at the summit finishes of the Col du Portet and Luz Ardiden.
The Ecuadorian also lost time to them in Saint Emilion, finishing 1:37 behind Vingegaard after starting the day just six seconds back, but was best of the rest of the GC men having ridden a quicker time trial than Wilco Kelderman, Ben O'Connor, Enric Mas, Rigoberto Urán.
Carapaz said that the Tour was raced differently this year with more aggression on display in comparison to his debut last year.
"This year three was a different way of racing in the Tour, with more sporting aggressiveness," he said.
"There are very few riders in the world who can win the Tour. I didn't make it this year, but I'm sure I'll do it one day."
Carapaz's third place is set to be the 17th Grand Tour podium for Ineos Grenadiers since its founding in 2010, with 2021 marking only the fifth time the team has been beaten to the yellow jersey in that 12-year time span.
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