Carapaz wins again to seal polka dot jersey

10 Sep 2022

Carapaz wins again to seal polka dot jersey

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Vuelta a Espana - Stage 20 » Moralzarzal › Puerto de Navacerrada, 181km

Richard Carapaz put in an impressive and battling ride to clinch a third stage win of this Vuelta a Espana and all but wrap up the polka dot jersey.

The Ecuadorian was active from the very start of the 20th stage, making decisive attacks to rack up enough points to make sure of the mountains classification, which he looks set to secure on Sunday in Madrid.

With the GC contenders closing in, Carapaz never gave up and launched a final acceleration over the top of the final climb. He then dug deep to maintain his slender advantage on the flat final 6km to the line.

Behind the team worked hard to support Carlos Rodriguez, who was forced to ride within himself, still suffering from his crash earlier in the week. The Spanish champion was forced to set his own rhythm any time the tempo rose up ahead. Eventually Rodriguez came home in seventh overall, one tantalising second off sixth place. Despite that it remains an incredible performance in his Grand Tour debut, with his teammates all devoting themselves to helping him on this final day in the mountains.

The race finishes on Sunday evening in Madrid, where Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step - AlphaVinyl) is set to be crowned overall winner.
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Reaction

- Richard Carapaz

"Yes [it’s the best of the three victories]. I was targeting this day, I knew it was very important. We knew it was a super hard stage because there were so many things at play, especially in the GC. I rode my way, being smart, making my moves when I had to. Then I enjoyed a lot of support from the breakaway riders, it was very important for me, and in the end I knew I could attack in the finale and win here.

"The truth is I’m very moved, it’s a very nice victory for me. Above all, I think it shows the type of rider I am. To fight for the KOM was one of the goals. At the start, without going crazy, I went in the splits, I tried to be up there. Then we knew it was a very hard stage and riders were losing ground. 

"For me, it’s spectacular to be be able to win a stage with this jersey which means a lot to me. I’m very moved. Today I saw a lot of Ecuadorians cheering for me on the roads. I hope they enjoyed the race."