TdF Daily | Stage 2 | Richard Carapaz sprints into fourth on GC

Ecuadorian locomotive charges to the line and outsprints Tour de France favorites

June 30, 2024

Richard Carapaz now sits fourth overall, on the same time as the yellow jersey, after a tremendous effort to fight his way back to the front of the group of GC favorites who had attacked on the final climb of the second stage of the Tour de France.

Our Ecuadorian locomotive came from behind and charged past the GC favorites at the finish in Bologna. Just distanced the last time up the slopes of the Côte de San Luca, Richard drove past the sanctuary on the summit and flew down the descent with Remco Evenepoel (SOQ), catching Tadej Pogacar (UAE) and Jonas Vingegaard (TVL) in the last few hundred meters. Not wasting a second, he launched his sprint and came past them, finishing first from their group of four. Since each of the four finished on the same time overall, their stage one rankings were used to determine who would wear the yellow jersey, reserved for the race leader.

Richie is proud of his effort, especially since he had such a difficult run into the Tour. Just being here is a great achievement. He’ll keep racing like Richie Carapaz does–with grit and panache.

Richard Carapaz

In the end it was a very hard selection. I was in a selection of riders that could hold on to the finish line, and in the end we got to it. There was a big fight for the GC lead too.

At the beginning of the stage I still felt exhausted because of yesterday’s stage, but then when Pogacar and Vingegaard attacked, I tried to follow. Remco did the majority of the work, and it was very good because we got to those two in the end.

I knew that I had a feeling. After Tour de Suisse I couldn’t train very well but now to see myself like this is a very big motivation. I have to continue like this because there’s a super hard Tour still in front of us.

Neilson Powless

The start was pretty easy, I must say. The first three, three-and-a-half hours were just flat and sitting in the group. We were hoping for a bit more wind because there was a moment at the halfway mark with 100k to go where we were hoping there’d be some crosswind and we could open the race up and pull back the breakaway, but in the end it just died down too much so that wasn’t really an opportunity. Unfortunately the stage win sort of escaped the peloton but I think it was just really unpredictable the way things went. In the end, it turns out Richie is flying. He’s been super quiet. He didn’t really want too much pressure around him so we just let him do his own thing. Maybe that’s what he needed.

Jonathan Vaughters, EF Pro Cycling founder and CEO

It went from a day that I would describe as kind of crap in that we missed the breakaway and I was pretty disappointed in that to a really surprising day. If we’re just honest about it, Richie’s crash in the Tour de Suisse was a lot worse than a lot of people had known about. He had multiple stitches in his mouth. He wasn’t able to eat. He caught a high fever. He’s basically trained about five hours in the two weeks before the Tour de France. None of us expected that he would be at this level. We’re not going to get carried away by it. We’re just going to take this day by day. We’re going to let him rest up tomorrow as best he can and not really put any more expectations on him, but it went from a real bad day to a real good day.

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