Richard Carapaz has been taking altitude training to new heights back in his home country of Ecuador, Ineos Grenadiers have revealed.
The 27-year-old has been climbing on Volcán Cotopaxi, which is just south of the capital city of Quito in the Andes.
Narváez has joined his other team-mates in Europe to race the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var on Friday with Geraint Thomas, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Tom Pidcock, leaving Carapaz to train solo.
Ineos Grenadiers revealed the heights of his training ride on Monday (February 15) over their social media platforms, comparing it to various other well known mountains Alpe d’Huez, Passo dello Stelvio and Everest as well as some amazing pictures taken of the climb.
At 4,800 metres above sea level, Carapaz cycled up to almost the exact same altitude as Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Europe.
The 2019 Giro winner has been using his home country as ideal preparation for his main objectives this season.
Ecuador lies largely on the Andes mountain range, so he is constantly at high altitudes, often double the height of some of the Alpine passes that he will be taking on in Europe at races such as the Tour de France.
The gains from altitude training can be immense for some riders, giving them higher amounts of red blood cells meaning you get a similar effect to EPO but naturally and completely legally, which ups your endurance and performance and the longer you stay at altitude the longer the effects lasts.
Carapaz’s race schedule is set to start at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya then the Tour of the Basque Country before a full Ardennes Classics campaign as he aims for a possible Liège-Bastogne-Liège win.
He is then down to race at the Critérium du Dauphiné as his main build up for his focus on the Tour de France, which he made his debut at last year, wearing the mountains jersey for several stages as well as a second place on a stage behind team mate, Michał Kwiatkowski.