Richard Carapaz becomes first Ecuadorian to win Giro d'Italia

Richard Carapaz
Richard Carapaz finished fourth in the Giro in 2018

Movistar rider Richard Carapaz became the first Ecuadorian to win the Giro d'Italia after coming through Sunday's final time-trial in Verona unscathed.

With a lead of almost two minutes going into the 17km stage, Carapaz, 26, comfortably held off his main general classification challengers.

American Chad Haga won the stage while Primoz Roglic replaced Mikel Landa on the podium behind Vincenzo Nibali.

Britain's Simon Yates finished eighth overall.

'The biggest moment of my sporting life'

After 2018's processional final stage in to Rome, the final stage time-trial in Verona was designed to decide the 2019 edition of the race.

However, Carapaz, fourth on his Giro debut in 2018, was unflappable across the technical Torricelle circuit that was used in the 1999 and 2004 World Championships.

Despite finishing 49 seconds behind Nibali and over a minute behind Haga, the Ecuadorian becomes only the second South American to win the Giro.

His Movistar teammate, Colombia's Nairo Quintana - who was not competing in Italy this year - was the first in 2014.

"This is the biggest moment of my sporting life and it's hard to explain it," Carapaz told Eurosport.

"I just suffered from start to finish until I reached the arena in Verona."

It was also a momentous day for Sunweb rider Haga, 30, whose only professional victory until now had been in the prologue of the 2013 Tour of Elk Grove in the US.

Colombia's Miguel Angel Lopez won the white jersey for the best young rider, while Germany's Bora-Hansgrohe rider Pascal Ackermann took the points jersey.

Italian Trek-Segafredo rider Giulio Ciccone won the king of the mountains competition.

How the race was won

While Carapaz took the acclaim - in front of a large contingent of fans from his homeland at the finish inside the Roman amphitheatre at Verona Arena - he laid the platform for his success on the mountain slopes leading into Courmayeur.

There on the 14th stage, he delivered a superb win, his second stage victory of the Giro to claim the Maglia Rosa and emerge as a serious GC contender.

Since then he rarely looked like relinquishing the leader's jersey and appeared a grand tour champion-in-waiting.

He extended his advantage over the next three stages and then marked his GC rivals on the final two mountain stages which concluded in the Dolomites on Saturday.

Stage 21 results

1. Chad Haga (US/Sunweb) 22mins 07secs

2. Victor Campenaerts (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +4secs

3. Thomas De Gendt (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +6secs

4. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +9secs

5. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe/Groupama-FDJ) +11secs

6. Josef Cerny (Cze/CCC) same time

7. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana) +17secs

8. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita/Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) +20secs

9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +23secs

10. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +26secs

Overall standings

1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar) 90hrs 01mins 47secs

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 05secs

3. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +2mins 30secs

4. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +2mins 38secs

5. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) +5mins 43secs

6. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +6mins 56secs

7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +7mins 26secs

8. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +7mins 49secs

9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus/Ineos) +8mins 56secs

10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha-Alpecin) +12mins 14secs

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