Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz Claims First Medal by a Latino Athlete at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

It’s the golden hour for Richard Carapaz 

The 28-year-old Ecuadorian cyclist brought home the gold medal for Ecuador in the men’s Olympics road race at the 2020 Tokyo Games on Saturday in a pulsating finale that saw the climber drop his main rivals on the last two climbs.

Richard Carapaz

It’s the first medal and gold medal for his native country, as well as the first medal and gold medal for any Latino athlete at the games.


Carapaz made his first acceleration with 25km to go in response to a move from Brandon McNulty (USA) before dropping his breakaway companion and soloing to the win with 5.8km to go.


Carapaz held onto his winning lead over the final finishing circuit on the Fuji Speedway to take the biggest one-day win of his career.

The 2019 Giro d’Italia winner finished with more than enough time to soak up the applause from the home crowd after six hours of brutal racing in hot and humid conditions.

In the sprint for the silver and bronze medals, Wout van Aert (Belgium) narrowly held off the late charge from Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia).

podium and a place in the history books with a gold medal for him and for Ecuador.

“It is incredible to see your flag as the top one, and to have this medal,” said Carapaz, who became his country’s second-ever Olympic champion after walker Jefferson Pérez in 1996.

“I simply waited for my moment. It was a bit of a crazy day, and a very hard race. I had to be patient as the selections were being made and wait for the right moment – that for me was the most complicated part.”

Egan Bernal Wins Giro d’Italia Title

Egan Bernal is celebrating a special vittoria

The 24-year-old Colombian rider Egan Bernal appears to have put his back problems behind him on Sunday as he claimed the Giro d’Italia title, adding his Tour de France win.

Egan Bernal

Bernal, who won the Tour de France in 2019, safely maintained his advantage on the final day’s time trial to Milan. As tradition dictates, he was last off the ramp and the Ineos Grenadiers rider had an overall lead of almost two minutes.

Bernal completed the 30.3-kilometer route in 35 minutes, 41 seconds to clinch the overall victory by 1:29. He pumped his hands above his head as he crossed the line in front of Milan’s famous cathedral.

“It’s difficult to realize what I’ve done. I have just won a Giro d’Italia. I have no words after what happened in these two years,” said the 24-year-old Bernal, who has struggled with a lingering back injury that forced him to abandon last year’s Tour.

Damiano Caruso was second overall, with Simon Yates completing the podium. Yates finished 4:15 behind Bernal.

Bernal had worn the leader’s pink jersey since claiming it by winning the ninth stage with an attack on the summit finish. And, along with his team, he brilliantly defended it along the rest of the route to Milan, where he lifted the impressive Trofeo Senza Fine.

“Yes, finally, this is my second Grand Tour [win],” Bernal said. “I think in this moment I look calm but inside I am exploding with happiness. I’ve already won the Tour and now the Giro.

“It is my first Giro, and it was very special, the way we rode, the way I returned to being a player after nearly two years without good form in a Grand Tour. So, I think it’s special.”

There were hundreds of fans in Milan’s Piazza Duomo celebrating Bernal’s victory, many waving Colombia flags and wearing shirts of the country’s soccer team.

Bernal’s teammate, Filippo Ganna, won the individual time trial despite a late puncture after the Italian’s closest rival, Remi Cavagna, crashed with about 600 meters to go.

“When I see the puncture, I think, ‘Ah, today unlucky, I lose the race’,” Ganna said. “I changed the bike really well, really fast, like a Formula One race, and then when I crossed the line I think, ‘OK, now will win Cavagna,’ because he’s a really good rider, really good time trial.

“In the end when I see his crash, I think, ‘OK, we have played with the same cards, I puncture and he’s crashed,’ and the result I think is the same without my puncture and without his crash.”

Ganna was the favorite to triumph on the 21st and final stage. He won the opening time trial in Turin and all three time trials in last year’s Giro as well as another stage.

Ganna took the lead with a time of 33:48, but his chances of winning seemed precarious as he lost about 20 seconds when he was forced to change bikes after the puncture.

Cavagna looked set to beat his time but the French time trial champion appeared to lock up his brakes at a corner and flipped over his bicycle as Ganna watched from the leader’s hot seat.

Cavagna got up unhurt and finished second, 12 seconds behind Ganna.

Edoardo Affini was third, a second further back.

“As a team, we brought home a beautiful result,” Ganna said. “Egan Bernal did something wonderful that has been built over these last three weeks.

“We worked hard to keep Egan always at the front of the peloton … And to arrive today with the pink jersey and celebrate tonight all together I think is a dream of every team.”

Egan Bernal: First Latin American Winner of the Tour de France

Egan Bernalis making history…

The 22-year-old Colombian cyclist, who currently rides for Team Ineos, has become the first Colombian to win the Tour de France after he retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey after Sunday’s 21st and final stage won by Australia’s Caleb Ewan.

Egan Bernal

Bernal, the youngest rider to win the race in 110 years, gave Team Ineos — formerly Team Sky— their seventh title in the past eight editions.

He beat teammate and defending champion Geraint Thomas of Britain with Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk coming home third.

Also the winner of the white jersey for the best Under-25 rider, Bernal did not win a single stage, but he was first at the top of the Col de l’Iseran when the 19th stage was stopped because of hailstorms and landslides in the Alps.

Kruijswijk’s Jumbo-Visma team shone throughout the race, winning four stages through Dylan GroenewegenWout van AertMike Teunissenand the team time trial.

Briton Adam Yates failed to impress but his Mitchelton-Scott team also claimed four stages. Yates’ twin brother Simonwon two stages while Matteo Trentinand Daryl Impeytook one apiece.

France’s Julian Alaphilippe, who wore the yellow jersey for 14 days but cracked in the Alps and ended fifth overall, was the race’s most exciting rider.

The world No. 1, who had looked to become France’s first winner since Bernard Hinaultin 1985, was voted this year’s most aggressive rider after also winning two stages.

“Alaphilippe changed the deal of this Tour de France, no question about it,” said Tour director Christian Prudhomme.

“There was also the absence of [four-time champion] Chris Froome, which gave hope to many riders.”

Slovakian Peter Saganwrapped up a record seventh green jersey for the points classification, surpassing the previous mark he held jointly with German Erik Zabel.

Frenchman Romain Bardetwon the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification, a consolation prize after dropping out of overall contention early on.

Bernal is the third-youngest and first Latin American winner of the Tour de France.

Quintana Wins the Vuelta a España

Nairo Quintana is riding high…

The 26-year-old Colombian cyclist won the 71st edition of the Vuelta a España on Sunday.

Nairo Quintana

Quintana, a cyclist for the Movistar Team, had led the overall general classifications since Stage 10.

He was greeted by cheers from the Madrid crowds as he crossed the finish line in his red jersey with an overall time of 83 hours, 31 minutes, 28 seconds.

While talking to the press after his victory, he said this was the best race of his life thanks to his competitors and that after all his hard work, winning was a dream come true.

Nairo Quintana

Winner of this final stage was Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-BikeExchange) who clocked a time of 2:48:52 followed by Italian Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) and Belgian Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quick Step).

Britain’s Chris Froome ranked second overall, 1:23 minutes behind Quintana.

The British cycling legend and three-time Tour de France winner missed out on his quest for an historic back-to-back Grand Tour win in one season.

Also on the podium was Colombian Johan Esteban Chaves (OBE) at 4:08 minutes.

Stage 21 of the Vuelta was a smooth race from Las Rozas to the Madrid city center, where the competitors had to complete an urban circuit nine times.

In the approach to the Spanish capital, Quintana appeared calm, smiling and drinking champagne with Froome and Chaves.

Illnesses and injuries had in 2014 and 2015 impeded a Vuelta win, but this year he became the first Colombian to win since Lucho Herrera’s victory in 1987.

Quintana Outlasts Alberto Contador to Win His First Tour of Catalonia Title

Nairo Quintana has added a new title to his resume…

The 26-year-old Colombian racing cyclist held onto his lead over Alberto Contador on Sunday to win the Volta a Catalunya (Tour of Catalonia) for the first time in his career.

Nairo Quintana

Quintana successfully defended his seven-second advantage over the Spaniard in Sunday’s final stage, an eight-lap ride over 136.4 kilometers (84.7 miles) up and down the Montjuic hill overlooking Barcelona.

Russian rider Aleksei Tsatevich won the seventh stage in a sprint with Primoz Roglic of Slovenia.

Quintana, currently riding for the Movistar Team, stayed close to Contador from the start on Sunday and his lead was never in jeopardy. He finished with the same seven-second gap he carried into the closing stage, becoming the third Colombian to win the race after Hernan Buenahora in 1998 and Alvaro Mejia in 1993.

Quintana took the overall lead in the Pyrenees on Thursday.

Daniel Martin of Ireland, the 2013 winner, finished third overall — 17 seconds behind Quintana.

Defending champion Richie Porte of Australia was fourth.

“It’s exciting and a point of great pride to beat such great rivals,” Quintana said. “It gives me confidence and shows that I’m on the right track going into the Tour de France. It doesn’t show that I’m ahead of anybody, but it shows that I’ve been doing a good job.”

The weeklong event in northeastern Spain attracted some of cycling’s top riders, including Tour de France champion Chris Froome, who finished eighth overall, 46 seconds behind Quintana.

Quintana’s task was made a bit more difficult because three of his Movistar teammates were ill and could not finish the race to help him.

It was the 96th edition of the Tour of Catalonia.

Contador Wins His Sixth Career Grand Tour Title at the Vuelta a España

Alberto Contador is back in winning form…

Only two months after leaving the Tour de France with a leg fracture, the 31-year-old Spanish professional cyclist – one of six riders to have won all three Grand Tours of road cycling – rebounded in style by winning his sixth grand tour title after protecting his lead Sunday on the 21st and final stage of the Vuelta a España.

Alberto Contador

Contador won his home race for a third time, to go with two Tour de France victories and one Giro d’Italia title.

Contador entered the concluding 9.7-kilometer (6-mile) individual time trial with a strong lead of 1 minute, 37 seconds over fellow former Tour de France winner Chris Froome and focused on avoiding any slips on the rain-slick streets.

Adriano Malori of Italy won the stage, taking advantage of his early start under dry conditions before a shower burst over the medieval city of Santiago de Compostela.

Froome, who also entered the race after injuries forced him to withdraw from the Tour, finished the race second.

Former winner Alejandro Valverde completed the podium.

Contador’s first grand tour win was at the Giro in 2008, the same year he won the Vuelta for the first time. He won the Vuelta a second time in 2012.

Contador won the Tour in 2007 and 2009, but was stripped of a third Tour win 2010 for doping. He has now won two major titles since then, both at the Vuelta.

Contador had concentrated on reclaiming the Tour this year, but his plans were dashed when he fell during its 10th stage and fractured his right shin on July 15. He withdrew and soon after said that he wouldn’t be in shape to ride in the Vuelta either.

But a week before the race started Contador announced he had been training for 10 days without pain and had decided to compete in the final grand tour of the year. Even so, Contador said he had ruled on fighting for the win.

The final stage was held in Santiago instead of the traditional finish in Madrid. The finish line was in the square in front of Santiago’s cathedral, the end point of the Way of St. James, “El Camino de Santiago,” pilgrimage trail.

Contador was given the traditional pilgrims cape, hat and staff on the podium, which he sportingly put on for the crowd.