Richard Carapaz rounded out a stunning victory in the 102nd Giro d’Italia to bring Movistar Team it’s 15th Grand Tour win and Ecuador’s first. A stage winner in La Corsa Rosa in 2018, Carapaz’s GC chances seemed to have suffered a blow as early as the third stage, where he lost around 40 seconds to the favourites, but bounced back the following day to win in Frascati with a brilliantly timed move.
After a defensive effort in the longest time trial, where he was able to limit his losses to Primoz Roglic (Jumbo – Visma), Richard struck out again with a second stage win in Courmayeur that moved him into the leader’s jersey, going on the offensive again and again during the brutal final week to earn a two minute cushion over Vicenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida) and Roglic into the final day’s time trial around Verona. After a measured performance, Carapaz entered the Arena di Verona, packed with fellow Ecuadorian’s to slip into the final maglia rosa and lift the magnificent Trofea Senza Fine.
Carapaz’s win is Abarca Sports 15th Grand Tour win and fourth Giro victory - Indurain (1992, 1993) and Quintana (2014) – in a glorious forty years in cycling, the last five of which have been in spent in a fruitful partnership with Endura.
I don’t know what to say – this is a unique feeling. For me, this is the biggest triumph I could have achieved. These are episodes you can’t imagine will come for you in life. The same way I dreamt about it, I got it. Now I believe everything is possible. A whole life comes through your mind in such moments: all the hard work you’ve done, all the sacrifices you endured to achieve your dream. Living this moment makes it all worth it.
Fort William World Cup
Welcome to Scottish summer... Rachel Atherton emerged from a wild weekend of racing in the Scottish Highlands, triumphing in the second round of the 2019 World Cup with a brilliant display of DHing in extremely challenging conditions. Although Saturday’s qualifying was played out in relatively benign conditions, the heavy rains from Friday’s practice – which had the Atherton Bikes crew reaching for their MT500 Waterproof Suits – returned on Sunday, kicking in just after Mille Johnset hit the podium in the Junior Women’s race in 3rd spot.
With conditions in the tricky woods section deteriorating rapidly, Rachel sprinted down the opening section to open up a four second lead at the opening split, before gaining time all the way down the mountain to move into the rather damp Hot Seat with an eight second lead with two riders still to come. Niether Marine Cabirou (Scott Downhill Factory) nor Tracey Hannah (Polygon UR) were able to overall the World Champ who claimed first win in Endura’s home World Cup since 2016.
In the Elite Men’s race, Gee Atherton tore out of the start gate after his nasty crash on Saturday, but was a little dabby through the woods in the worst of the weather and had to settle for 21st place, with team-mate Charlie Hatton three places further back.
The Championship – Samorin
For the third year on the spin, Lucy Charles-Barclay dominated The Championship, with an outstanding display at the half-iron distance event in Slovakia, taking the top spot on the podium in a new course record of 4:00:25. Opening with a trademark swim performance, Charles-Barclay headed out of T1 with more than two minutes over her chasers. After a mild mishap in T2 where she got tangled up with her bike, Lucy powered through 21km run straight to the tape. Recent Endura signing Daniela Bleymehl, was overhauled during the run to finish in third spot.
Bigla’s Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig returned to winning ways in France as the Women’s WorldTour team stamped their authority o the race. Firstly, Lizzy Banks broke clear in a two-woman move that was closed down by a chase group that included Uttrup Ludwig. On the last lap, Cecilie attacked and emerged with the win ahead of two other riders who normally race in Endura – Movistar Team’s Mavi García and Sheyla Gutierrez who were racing as part of a Spanish national squad. In addition to Cecilie’s win, Bigla also claimed the team classification and Leah Thomas scored a win in the queen of the mountains competition.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig:
This was a fantastic win. And we have also won the team classification and Leah took the mountain classification, this is terrific. I am very happy. This was a crazy team effort and we worked so well together. We were pulling at the front the whole time. It feels so good to finish off this super team effort with a win. We can be so proud of our efforts as a whole team and it is time now to celebrate.
Thüringen Ladies Tour
Basque youngster Lourdes Oyarbide recorded her best performance in a major UCI race with third place at the six stage Thüringen Ladies Tour in Germany as Movistar Team impressed throughout. Moving into a leadership role after a great result on the opening stage, Oyarbide was supported by a strong team that will be looking to take their recent stage racing form into the Women’s Tour and Giro Rosa over coming weeks.
Photos: Movistar Team, Sven Martin/Atherton Racing, James Mitchell and Endura