The Ecuador Secretariat for Sport has confirmed that Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos) will return to Europe next week on a direct flight from Quito to Spain before he resumes his season at the Vuelta a Burgos at the end of this month.
The 2019 Giro d’Italia winner will travel to Spain on July 15 in the company of his compatriot and Ineos teammate Jhonatan Narváez.
The same authorisation has also been accorded to three other Ecuadorian riders, Alexander Cepeda (Androni-Sidermec), Alveiro Cepeda (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling), who will leave Ecuador for Spain on July 21, 22 and 28, respectively.
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It was previously envisaged that Carapaz and his fellow countrymen would have to travel by road to Colombia and then undergo a 14-day period of quarantine before flying to Europe aboard a charter flight organised for Colombian professionals. According to the Secretariat for Sport, the Ecuadorian riders will not have to undergo a mandatory period of self-isolation on arrival in Spain.
"We began to talk with the Foreign Ministry in order to apply for this humanitarian flight from Colombia and help the cyclists, but when we saw that time was against us, we contacted the technical directors of the teams to look for another alternative," said Miguel Landázuri, the Secretariat’s director of high performance.
"Fortunately, thanks to the efforts we made, we were able to obtain a direct flight from Quito to Spain, with the authorization of the Spanish embassy."
Carapaz has raced just once since joining Ineos from Movistar ahead of the 2020 season, placing 30th overall at the Tour Colombia 2.1 in February. The 27-year-old then travelled to Europe but returned to Ecuador in March when the cycling season was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Giro d’Italia remains the centrepiece of Carapaz’s season despite the revisions to the UCI calendar. He will not be part of the Ineos squad for the Tour de France, and he will instead build towards the corsa rosa by riding the Vuelta a Burgos (July 28-August 1), the Tour de Pologne (August 5-9) and Tirreno-Adriatico (September 7-14).
The rescheduled Giro is set to take place from October 3-25, and the confirmed participants include Carapaz, Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).