Giro d’Italia 2019 winner Richard Carapaz is apparently set to move from Movistar to Ineos, with a two-year deal said to be announced on August 1, when the transfer market opens.
The Ecuadorian took his biggest victory and first Grand Tour win at the Giro d’Italia earlier in the season, beating Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) by just over a minute.
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Two days ago team Ineos boss Dave Brailsford met with Carapaz’s agent Giuseppe Acquadro where an agreement in principle was made, according to L’Équipe.
Carapaz has been at Movistar since 2017, his first WorldTour team, but will swap the blue of the Spanish outfit for the red of Ineos at the end of the season, joining the British squad’s stellar roster.
Carapaz will join two other Grand Tour winners at Ineos, with defending Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas currently facing off against the Ecuadorian’s Movistar team-mates at this year’s edition of the race, and Chris Froome currently recovering from his crash, his palmàres containing victories in all three Grand Tours.
In June, Carapaz was said to have rejected a €1.5 million offer to sign for Ineos, instead electing to stay at Movistar who helped him to his surprise Giro win. However, something appears to have changed his mind.
It is currently unknown how Carapaz will fit into the British squad, whether he will serve as a team leader or provide domestique duties in the mountains for their other GC stars.
The 26-year-old has many more years at the top level compared to Froome, 34, and Thomas, 33, and provides more experience than the young talent Egan Bernal, who at only 22 has plenty of years ahead to develop into an established Grand Tour contender.
Mikel Landa is also apparently on his way out of Movistar, with a move to Bahrain-Merida to replace Vincenzo Nibali (the Italian said to be off to Trek-Segafredo) thought to be as good as completed.
Nairo Quintana is also said to be potentially leaving the Spanish team, with a move to André Greipel’s Pro-Continental Arkéa-Samsic on the cards. Alejandro Valverde, however, recently extended his contract with Movistar until 2021, when the world champion will be 41 years old.
With many potential leavers, one name that could be on their way in is Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang, the Dane apparently being offered to Movistar, in what is set to be a busy transfer window for the Spanish team.