Giro de Italia (st. 6)
Brilliant performance by Ecuadorian from Movistar Team: 7th at maiden mountain-top finish, takes over Maglia Bianca as Betancur (still 11th overall, with ‘Richie’ in 12th), Valls also finish near main contenders in Sicily.
Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) took on Thursday’s stage six of the 2018 Giro d’Italia another step forward in his brilliant, short European career. The rider from Tulcán in the Carchí province was able to keep the pace from the main GC contenders at the Etna, first mountain-top finish of the race, to claim 7th place in the stage and wear the Maglia Bianca as best under-26 rider in the race -he’ll turn 25 next 29th May-.
The performance by ‘Richie’ crowned a fine ride from the Blues in a stage dominated by Mitchelton-Scott -with Esteban Chaves and new race leader Simon Yates grabbing a one-two result for the Aussie squad-, where the Spanish outfit tried to shine in all fronts. Dayer Quintana made part of the big breakaway (28 riders) serving Chaves as launchpad for his success, while Rafa Valls, Carlos Betancur and Carapaz himself tried to cope with the steady pace by the GC contenders over the Etna climp, spiced up by attacks forming into the last 5km.
The attacks by López (AST), Pozzovivo (TBM) or Bennett (TLJ) did not break the legs of Carapaz, who even dared to follow a move by Tom Dumoulin (SUN) and later kept the rhythm of the Giro’s best contenders before Yates’ strong final acceleration. Carapaz finished 26″ off the Mitchelton duo to now sit in 12th overall (+1’23”), as Betancur remains in 11th and Valls sits in 21st.
The Giro will witness a stage for sprinters on Friday’s return to the Italian Peninsula -159km to Praia Mare-, before taking on two mountain-top finish in the Apenninnes in the weekend, atop Montevergine (Saturday) and Gran Sasso (Sunday). That will be the first place to Carapaz to defend his coveted white jersey.
REACTION / Richard Carapaz:
“More than anything, I’m really, really happy with this result. It’s been a surprise also to me. It was a beautiful finish, to be able to keep up with the race contenders and putting on this jersey – it’s such a great day for me. I came in good form to this Giro, I wanted to have a good taste of this race and enjoy it, and getting to this position after just six days is fantastic. My team-mates’ work during the stage was also excellent, always near the front with Rafa and Carlos before the final attacks. Let’s enjoy this moment for a bit before the big mountains still to come. There’s lots of tough moments to come in this Giro, but I’m confident we can fight to do well. We must remain day-by-dy at this point because it’s a very long race, and the final week will be really tough.”
Picture (c): 1) LaPresse / Giro d’italia; 2-3) BettiniPhoto.net
- 01 Esteban Chaves Mitchelton-Scott 4h16'11"
- 02 Simon Yates Mitchelton-Scott "
- 03 Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ +26"
- 07 Richard Carapaz Movistar Team "
- 19 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +57"
- 22 Rafa Valls Movistar Team +1'22"
- 39 Víctor De la Parte Movistar Team +5'09"
- 59 Dayer Quintana Movistar Team +10'37"
- 112 Eduardo Sepúlveda Movistar Team +19'43"
- 137 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team +24'31"
- 142 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team "
- 01 Simon Yates Mitchelton-Scott 22h46'03"
- 02 Tom Dumoulin Team Sunweb +16"
- 03 Esteban Chaves Mitchelton-Scott +26"
- 11 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +1'21"
- 12 Richard Carapaz Movistar Team +1'23"
- 21 Rafa Valls Movistar Team +2'07"
- 42 Víctor De la Parte Movistar Team +10'07"
- 63 Dayer Quintana Movistar Team +18'28"
- 120 Eduardo Sepúlveda Movistar Team +35'46"
- 146 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team +43'59"
- 148 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team +44'14"