Richard Carapaz at the Volta a Catalunya.

Carapaz will lead the Ineos Grenadiers at the Giro d’Italia

The 2019 Giro winner headlines a squad that also includes Richie Porte and Pavel Sivakov.

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Richard Carapaz will lead the way at the 2022 Giro d’Italia for the Ineos Grenadiers, who announced their eight-rider squad for the upcoming Grand Tour on Friday.

For Carapaz, the start will represent a return to a race he won in 2019, having since gone on to finish second at the Vuelta a España, third at the Tour de France, and first in the Olympic road race.

“I have a nice memory of the Giro from when I competed in it when the race was in Israel, in Tel Aviv. To be over there in that country racing and to then win a stage in my first Giro is one of those great memories that I have of this race. It’s a race that I love, maybe my favourite race, so to win there was special. That stage I really remember,” Carapaz said via a team statement.

“Then when I won the Giro d’Italia in 2019 it was something really special, above everything it was always a race that I wanted to compete in, so to win it was an incredible moment. It wasn’t just a significant win for me, it was also a significant win for my country. It had a big impact and started a new era in cycling for Ecuador. It also had an impact on me mentally, as it showed me that I had the ability to be a successful Grand Tour racer.”

Carapaz has been busy so far this season, winning the national time trial title in Ecuador in February and taking a WorldTour stage win and second overall at the Volta a Catalunya in March.

Richie Porte will be among those joining Carapaz at the Giro, which starts in Hungary on May 6, in what will mark Porte’s fourth career start at the race. He finished seventh there and spent a few days in the race lead in his first-ever Grand Tour appearance in 2010. His 2022 participation will come amid his final season as a pro before his expected retirement at the end of the year.

“I did my amateur days in Italy and that was like my cycling apprenticeship,” Porte said. “Then I went to the Giro in 2010 as a neo-pro and the next thing you know, I wore the pink jersey for three days. That was incredible and still some of the best memories of my career to be honest. It’s a privilege to go full circle and finish up at the Giro for my last Grand Tour.”

Jhonatan Narváez, Pavel Sivakov, Jonathan Castroviejo, Salvatore Puccio, Ben Swift, and Ben Tulett will join Carapaz and Porte in a well-rounded Ineos squad for the Giro.

In the roster announcement, the squad’s hope of taking the overall win for a third straight year was clear.

“It doesn’t feel that long ago that we saw Egan [Bernal] ride into the Piazza Duomo and take the pink jersey at last year’s edition, or with Tao [Geoghegan Hart] the previous year,” Deputy Team Principal Rod Ellingworth said. “This race means a lot to our team, and I have every confidence that we are going to be lining up in Budapest with the ability and intense desire to win, just as much as we have done in any other edition. We’re set to take the race on.”

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