Monday’s third stage of the Vuelta a España was a tough one for Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). The newly crowned Olympic road race champion, who was a close runner-up at last year’s Vuelta, finished the stage one minute behind a group containing defending champ Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).
As if that wasn’t enough, he then received a 20-second time penalty after the stage for an illegal feed, bringing his total losses on the day to Roglič and several other GC rivals to 1:20.
Carapaz first showed signs of struggling some 2 km from the top of the steep Picón Blanco finishing climb. He lost touch with the pack and then caught back on, but then a series of accelerations at the front of the group – including by his Ineos teammate Adam Yates – dropped him for good. While Yates and Bernal were well-positioned with the other GC riders, Carapaz began losing ground off the back.
By the time the main GC group had reached the finish, Carapaz was a full minute behind. Then, shortly after the stage, his GC position was amended with a further 20-second loss.
The jury report confirmed after the stage that he had been docked time for “unauthorized feeding, in the last kms of the stage, out of the authorized zone (start of the last climb).”
As such, Carapaz now finds himself 2:15 down on new race leader Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and 1:45 down on Roglič. That puts him behind teammates Egan Bernal (27 seconds behind Roglič) and Yates (51 seconds down on Roglič) after three days of racing, which could help determine the way the Ineos Grenadiers build their strategy moving forward.