Biggest revelation of the 2018 Giro
Richard Carapaz enjoys a well-deserved second rest day in Giro d’Italia after brilliant last weekend; calls for reasonable expectations in view of tough two weeks still remaining.
The biggest sensation of the 2018 Giro d’Italia, Richard Carapaz, reflected on everything he’s gone through so far in the ‘Corsa Rosa’ and what’s still ahead during the second rest day on Monday. Sitting now in a brilliant 6th place overall, with the white jersey as best under-26 rider on his shoulder, and out of any pressure following his brilliant success atop Montevergine on Saturday, the Ecuadorian climber from the Movistar Team analyzed the first nine days of his maiden Giro appearance:
“For me this is pure joy, indescribable happiness, because at the beginning of the race, neither myself nor the team could have expected such results. As the race progresses, you realize what you’re doing is not a dream, it’s just what you’ve been fighting for. This is something really special for my country, too – it had never happened for a rider from Ecuador. The people in my country are enjoying this to the fullest, and it seems like cycling could finally become important there.
“I’ve worked so hard to do well in this Giro and I knew I was on the right track, but I’m the most surprised person to see myself doing so well and even winning a stage. Now that I see myself in this position, I’m willing to get going and keep up this good work, but we must also remain calm and think about how hard this race is, and how far we still are from Rome. Whatever comes after this will be welcome, but we must keep our feet on the ground. I feel really happy in this team, and that’s important, because we’ve got a good atmosphere between us youngsters, but we also have some strong, experienced veterans who help us a lot. It’s being a dream start so far.
“I hope this second week to be a little bit more calm so we can recover a bit, even though you must always stay focused on a three-week stagerace, where anything can happen anytime. It’s my first Giro, but I’ve already seen many things happening when you don’t expect them to. Plus, the final week should be crazy, with such big mountains
“The time trial will be difficult for me, it obviously doesn’t play to my favour. I know I’ll lose time there, but hopefully it’s not as important as it could, because the final week will be incredibly hard and gaps created there might be bigger than the ITT’s. I’ll do my best in the time trial to not concede too much time.”
Betancur confident about form progression
In turn, Carlos Betancur –16th overall, 2’46” back– feels excited about what’s still to come in the Giro, where he hopes to get stronger as days go by: “I thought yesterday that staying on Froome’s wheel would help me gain back some terrain, but he wasn’t going through a good day at all. In any case, the place I finished was just the best I could perform, I couldn’t go any better yesterday. However, it was still a good day for me, because it’s been one of my best results in big mountains this year, and that gives me confidence. It’ll be a long Giro, not only because of the route, but also due to the long transfers we’re facing and the fact that the hardest mountains will come after all the wear and tear we’ve been put to before week three. Many people will struggle there after previous efforts, and I’m more of a ‘diesel’ guy. At longer, tough races I usually get better at the end, and I hope to prove it again in the Giro. At week two I hope to be closer to the top guys, and on week three, hopefully battle with them. Should I have to help Richie out, it won’t be a problem for me, either. He’s showing to be the strongest uphill of all us eight, and I’ll be pleased to support him if he needs to.”