Richard Carapaz has denied accusations of disloyalty from his former colleagues at Movistar after the Ecuadorian switched to Ineos during the off-season.
In the Netflix documentary following the WorldTour outfit’s turbulent 2019 season, ‘The Least Expected Day’, sports director Pablo Lastras disparages Carapaz’s decision to leave, saying: “I don’t care about his future. He’s not been loyal and I don’t want a rider who’s not been loyal in my team.”
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Movistar had expected Carapaz to stay with the team for 2020 but the 2019 Giro d’Italia winner elected to join Team Ineos for a reportedly much bigger salary, becoming the fourth active Grand Tour victor within their squad.
“They might have given him more money [at Ineos] than we could but he jumped the gun because there was money this year for the team,” Lastras said.
Speaking to ESPN Bike, Carapaz says his decision to leave the team was in part because he never got the trust he needed from Movistar and that he no longer wanted to be in other riders’ shadows and try something different. He also denies being disloyal, saying he gave the team more than they asked for.
“The kind of trust that I needed [from the team] was never really provided,” he said. “I’ve not been disloyal. I gave the team more than they asked for. As a rider, I gave it everything and if they don’t value that then people can draw their own conclusions.
“I did not want to be in anyone’s shadow, I wanted to make my own way. I never had the trust, which was maybe never given to me or only given a little bit. I was 25 and I wanted to try new things and if that ended up being the wrong decision I prefer to be wrong now rather than later.”
The deteriorating relationship between Carapaz’s agent Giuseppe Acquadro and Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué is said to have also contributed to the 26-year-old’s departure. A number of other riders managed by Acquadro also chose to leave Movistar at the end of the season, with Andrey Amador joining Carapaz at Ineos, while Nairo Quintana and Winner Anacona left for UCI ProTeam Arkéa-Samsic.