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April 24, 2020
Photography by Cor Vos
Movistar sports director Pablo Lastras may view Richard Carapaz’s departure from the team as an act of disloyalty, as the former pro said in the recent documentary El día menos pensado—but the reigning Giro d’Italia champ doesn’t feel that way.
Carapzz gave his perspective on his transfer from Movistar to Ineos in an interview with ESPN Bike last week, and in so doing offered an alternative take to the one espoused by his former DS.
“I have not been disloyal in any sense. I gave the team more than they asked for,” Carapaz said. “As a rider I gave it everything and, if they don’t value that, look, people can draw their own conclusions.”
Carapaz turned pro with Movistar in 2017 and, over time, developed into a GC rider. Going into 2019, he was expected to be one of multiple leaders for the team at the Giro, and he ultimately delivered the overall title. A sought-after commodity on the transfer market last fall, however, Carapaz ultimately went on to sign a deal with Ineos, leaving the team where he’d spent the past several seasons.
Speaking on Carapaz’s departure in El día menos pensado, Lastras gave a blunt account of his opinion on Carapaz, saying “I don’t care about his future. He has not been loyal and I do not want a rider who’s not been loyal in my team.”
In Lastras’s view, Carapaz could have given Movistar’s offer more thought.
“[Ineos] might have given him more money than we could,” Lastras said, “but he jumped the gun, because there was money this year  in the team.”
In the documentary, Carapaz did not shy away from admitting the financial factors that motivated him to sign with Ineos. In his ESPN Bike interview, however, he also emphasized that leaving Movistar was also about joining a team that valued his abilities and was not afraid to put its trust in him.
“I did not want to be in anyone’s shadow. I wanted to make my own way,” he said. “I never had the trust, which was maybe never given to me or only given a little bit. I was 25 and I wanted to try new things, and if that ended up being the wrong decision, I prefer to be wrong now and not later.”
Several months on from that decision, he said he is glad that he made the switch to Ineos, calling it “one of the best decisions that I could have made.”