- Place: El Carmelo, Carchi
- Birth: 29/05/1993
- Country: ECU
- Height: 170 Cm
- Weight: 62 Kg
- Pro debut: 2016
- Years in team: 3
- Career path:
2016-2018: Movistar Team
2016-2018: Movistar Team
A SUCCESSFUL TEST. Winner of the Pamamerican Games’ road race in 2013 and Colombia’s Vuelta de la Juventud in 2015, Carapaz’s climbing strength brought him to the attention of Eusebio Unzué, who decided to offer him a place as a trainee with the Movistar Team in the late part of 2016 following an impressive four months with development team Lizarte. His consistent performances in the Italian autumn –Toscana, Emilia, Tre Valli Varesine, Piemonte–, showing huge courage to battle against some of the best names in the sport, was more than enough for a WorldTour contract.
A STAR WAS BORN. He came close to his first pro victory twice in his first full year in Blue, second at the GP Larciano (narrowly beaten by Adam Yates; ahead of Rigoberto Urán) and the Route du Sud GC, only 1″ behind Stefan Dillier. But 2018 was his real confirmation as a world-class rider. Carapaz -“with big admiration, but with no surprise”, as explained by GM Eusebio Unzué- conquered his first Grand Tour stage atop Montervergine, end of day eight in the Giro d’Italia. Under the deluge, with a brutal acceleration inside the final 1.5 kilometers, reaching down a long-fought early breakaway, Richard claimed his first success in the ‘Corsa Rosa’. A year later, the victory which took him to the Olympus of cycling: his first Grand Tour, also a Giro, winning two stages and a solid, seven-stage defense of his coveted pink jersey en route to Verona.
INFALLIBLE ALSO IN THE VUELTA. The icing to a brilliant 2017 season came at the Vuelta a España, in a first-ever appearance for an Ecuadorian competitor. In 2018, he become a crucial man for the team at the moutnain stages: his work at the toughest climbs allowed Alejandro Valverde contesting overall victory until the very end of the race. La Covatilla, Les Praeres and Lagos de Covadonga have all witnessed the talent, courage and suffering of this young Ecuadorian. Those who work with him talk about his extreme recovery abilities, a skill required to be with the best.
Despite his youth (he’s just 26), he has already built a beautiful family with his wife, Tania. He’s got two kids: Richard Santiago (5) and Aimy Sofía (2).
He’s been the only non-Colombian winner in the 50-year history of the Vuelta de la Juventud, the most important race in the country for under-23 riders. Its palmarès is a ‘who’s who’ of cycling in such a historic nation, including the names of Fabio Parra, Álvaro Mejía, Oliverio Rincón, Mauricio Soler, Sergio Henao or Carlos Betancur.
The biggest revelation of the 2018 Giro d’Italia heads towards the Vuelta start in Málaga with a well to continue showing his character and fighting spirit. Already a part of the young roster which represented the Movistar Team in the 2017 Vuelta, ‘Richie’ will certainly be a factor to take into serious account at the big mountains and the overall outcome of an event which will mark only his third Grand Tour appearance.
Following his fourth-place finish in the ‘Corsa Rosa’ -combined with a landmark success for Ecuador atop Montevergine, the third win in a 2018 season which also includes sucess at the Queen stage and the GC of the Vuelta a Asturias-, Carapaz returned to his homeland Carchi, a natural altitude training site where he’s prepared for the Vuelta before returning to racing with good results in Getxo -5th, final Barbero leadout- and Poland -12th overall, strong contender in the mountains-.
2018 schedule (58 racing days) > Vuelta a San Juan (73rd); Colombia Oro y Paz (23rd); Paris-Nice (11th); Settimana Coppi e Bartali (3rd); Vuelta a Asturias (1st + 1 stage win); Giro d’Italia (4th + 1 stage win); Circuito de Getxo (5th); Tour de Pologne (12th).
Previous Vuelta appearances > 2017: 36th.