Richard Carapaz says he wants to stay with Movistar following his 2019 Giro d’Italia win despite a reported €1.5m offer from Team Ineos.
British WorldTour team Ineos could bolster its Grand Tour squad with the Ecuadorian in 2020, alongside Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal.
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“I want to continue with Movistar,” Carapaz told Marca. “If the team wants to bet on me, I will continue here with pleasure.”
His agent is discussing a deal with Team Ineos, but Cycling Weekly understands from a source close to the deal that Carapaz is leaning towards the Spanish WorldTour team. Also, he put off extending his contract last year to take a gamble on a big win in 2019 and a richer contract. It seems to have paid off.
Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Ineos is offering Carapaz 10-times his current salary, estimated at €150,000 (£132,000), while Movistar will be also offering Carapaz more money and greater responsibility for 2020.
Movistar is taking on Enric Mas, the Deceuninck – Quick-Step Spaniard who placed second to Simon Yates in the 2018 Vuelta a España. However, they are bidding farewell to Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana.
“As of this week, it is time to talk about the future,” said Movistar team boss Eusebio Unzué. “In the case of Carapaz, there is still nothing, but I hope he will renew one hundred per cent.
“We are going to do everything in our power to allow him to continue with us. We said that after the Giro we would talk about it, and so we will. In any case, we cannot talk about signings officially until August 1.”
The team would be able to announce his renewal at any time. Teams, however, cannot announce new riders until August 1. If Ineos were to sign Carapaz, boss David Brailsford would not comment on it until that date or after.
Unzué will likely push hard to keep Carapaz to supplement Mas in the busy Grand Tour schedule. The team now has, Landa, Quintana, Carapaz and 39-year-old World Champion Alejandro Valverde.
“Surely there is no need to have four big riders, we need to have a team around to help one or two leaders who want to continue with us,” Unzué said.
“It’s better to have these problems than not, and in the end. With three or two leaders, everything works. I’ve always said that two or three leaders is needed given the current cycling calendar with almost 270 days of competition and to have an interesting distribution of goals throughout the year.
“Now Landa and Carapaz have been in the Giro, then Mikel and Nairo will go to the Tour, while Valverde will accompany them to the last two.”
French team Arkéa-Samsic with Warren Barguil and André Greipel is offering Quintana a full package of support staff and riders, and the money he needs, according to our source. UAE Team Emirates was reportedly also interested.
Mikel Landa, who rode with Team Sky for two years and placed fourth in the 2019 Giro, is heading to Bahrain-Merida.