The Ecuadorian cyclist Richard Carapaz, Olympic road champion in Tokyo 2020, won his first national crown in the specialty this Sunday, in what constituted his debut with the uniform of his new team for this season: EF Education- EasyPost.

The competition was held in the city of Tulcán, capital of the Andean province of Carchi, and the Olympic champion prevailed in a demanding and explosive final against his compatriots Jefferson Cepeda, his teammate on the North American team; and Alexander Cepeda, from the Spanish team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

The test that was played on a 178-kilometre track ended with an ascent. The trio started the final climb together. Then, Carapaz managed to let go of his rivals and seemed headed to win alone, but in the end Jefferson Cepeda was able to return. In the definition, the Olympic champion proved to be the strongest to succeed Richard Huera, last year’s champion.

The final dispute was tight and expectant in the final stages, reflected in the marks set, as Carapaz (winner of the Giro d’Italia in 2019) reached first place with a time of 4 hours, 11 minutes and 48 seconds, the same as Jefferson. Cepeda who was second and one minute over Alexander Cepeda.

Carapaz once again showed his experience and category in the final sprint in the last six kilometers, just as he did in the Giro d’Italia and also in the Tokyo Olympics.

The local organization took advantage of the fact that local elite cyclists will just begin their preparations for international competitions and the permits they were granted to participate in the National Road Championship, which featured the majority of local cyclists who are part of foreign teams.

For her part, in the women’s division, first place went to Ana Vivar (Movistar-BesPC) with 3 hours, 55 minutes and 54 seconds; 3 seconds behind Michela Molina (Azuay Sports Federation) and Esther Galarza (Independiente) who had a time of 3:56:14.

In the Sub’23 category, Nixon Romero from Team Banco Guayaquil came first, with a time of 3:26:38; followed by Edison Velásquez (3.35.08) from Team Pichincha; and Jhoffre Imbaquingo (3.35.10) also from Team Banco Guayaquil.

Source: Revista Mundo Ciclístico y Agencia EFE