Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) has taken over the maglia rosa at the Giro d’Italia from previous race leader Jan Polanc (UAE-Team Emirates) after winning yesterday’s 14th stage from to Saint Vincent to Courmayeur (Skyway Monte Bianco).
The Ecuadorian climber launched an attack on the Colle San Carlo, 30km before Courmayeur’s finish and three kilometres from its summit, from a group which also included Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo Visma), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team), Rafal Majka (BORA hansgrohe) and his Movistar team-mate Mikel Landa.
Carapaz had gained 35″ by the top of the climb and despite the best efforts of Roglič and Nibali to chase him down on the descent, they were unable to reel him in. A lack of cooperation in the chase group helped Carapaz and by the finish at Courmayeur, he had a lead of 1’32” over second-placed Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) with Nibali leading home the group of favourites, 1’54” down on Carapaz.
It was the third career stage victory at the Giro for Carapaz, having already won the fourth stage of this year’s race and a stage in 2018, and he now leads by 7″ overall from Roglič with Nibali in third at 1’47”.
The race continues today with a 232-kilometre stage from Ivrea to Como, which includes some of the parcours of Il Lombardia before the final rest day on Monday.
Richard Carapaz: “I can’t even believe it myself. It’s a dream I’ve worked so hard for, an enormous effort for such a long time which is finally paying off now. Today’s strategy was one we had designed thoroughly with the rest of the team; we knew both Mikel and I had good chances to do well, and San Carlo’s slopes suited my characteristics really well. Having two cards to play, it’s quite easier. I saw the place to attack with three kilometres from the end of the ascent, launched an acceleration with everything I had, and was able to keep that speed and open the 30″ I held over the climb. It was enough to make our rivals suffer, continue to open those gaps into the last climb and, at the end, even having a shot at the Maglia Rosa. I just can’t believe it, I’m so, so happy!”