Richard Carapaz may have to ride and drive 900km to catch flight to Europe to defend Giro d’Italia title

The Ecuadorian would have to travel from his home to the Colombian capital by car and bike before he can fly

Richard Carapaz winning the Giro d'Italia 2019 (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Richard Carapaz may have to ride his bike and drive 900km to make a flight to Europe in order to defend his Giro d’Italia title.

The Ecuadorian rider and his Team Ineos team-mate Jhonatan Narváez are making plans to travel ready for the return of racing next month, with the pair intending to catch a humanitarian flight to Spain.

But the flight will be leaving from the Colombian capital Bogotá in mid-July, 900km north of Carapaz’s home on the border.

With most flights suspended in the area, Carapaz and Narváez may have to make most of the journey by bike, although they may also travel by car for some of the trip, El Telegrafo reports. 

Carapaz is scheduled to return to racing at the Vuelta a Burgos on July 28 and will then race the Tour of Poland from August 9, Tirreno-Adriatico from September 4 before heading to the World Championships in late September.

But the 27-year-old’s main goal for the season is the Giro d’Italia , where he hopes to defend his 2019 pink jersey from October 3-25.

The humanitarian flight from Colombia will carry 200 passengers to Europe, including 107 athletes from cycling, squad, tennis and football.

Carapaz and Narváez need to make their way to Monaco to join the rest of Team Ineos before the re-join the peloton.

Both riders have work visas allowing them to race in Europe, but they are still awaiting permission from the authorities to take the humanitarian flight.

If they are given permission, they plan to ride and drive the journey over two days to keep up their training.

The coronavirus crisis has wreaked havoc on the 2020 cycling season, as the UCI was forced to suspend racing from March until July and dozens of races have been cancelled.

Riders outside of Europe have faced an even more uncertain year due to travel bans throughout the world, with US riders now unsure if they will be able to make it to races as the EU is expected to restrict travel from certain countries.

>>> ‘You’d risk becoming deathly ill’: Victor Campenaerts takes altitude training to a new extreme

But despite the doubts, it is looking increasingly likely that racing will return for the second half of 2020.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.