‘If the course suits him, then why not!’ - Mitch Docker backs Richard Carapaz for strong Tour de France

Australian former professional believes strong culture at former team will help Carapaz shine in July

Richard Carapaz
After several years with Ineos Grenadiers, Carapaz will ride in EF Education-EasyPost colours in 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former professional cyclist Mitch Docker has backed Richard Carapaz for a high general classification finish at the Tour de France this July, after moving to EF Education-EasyPost for 2023.

Carapaz, a former winner of the Giro d’Italia, achieved three Grand Tour podium finishes with Ineos Grenadiers from 2020 to 2022, including his second place behind Jai Hindley at last year’s Giro. However, the Ecuadorian was unable to land a Grand Tour victory with his former team.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Docker explained that the strong culture at his former team combined with a favourable course could see Carapaz climb on to the podium once more at the Tour this July.

“If the course suits him [Carapaz], then yeah, why not,” Docker said. 

"I’ve heard from inside the team that Carapaz arrived at the first training camp and was super relaxed. Apparently he was feeling at home already. Especially with Rigo [Rigoberto Uran] there, they’ve got a real South American feel and with Amador arriving as well. So there will be a strong team around him.”

“I wouldn’t doubt that the team has an amazing Tour this year purely because of the culture they’ve created. They’ve also got the legs behind that and the engines too which helps,” he added. 

“It’s a real credit to Jonathan Vaughters as this was something he put together. He always sees the right characters that fit and builds the team and everything around that.”


Mitch Docker

(Image credit: Astrid Heggerick)

Away from the road, Docker has recently collaborated with Belgian cyclo-cross legend Sven Nys to produce a new film which sees the Australian tackle cyclo-cross for the first time. In the film, called “There will be Mud”, Docker receives expert advice and coaching from Nys as he heads to Belgium to take part in his first race.

Docker told Cycling Weekly that working with Nys was an eye-opening experience and “bucket list stuff” for any cyclo-cross fan.

“We kind of knew each other already, so I wasn’t star-struck or anything. Although once we started doing some sessions together, I soon realised that what I was doing was what any person who watches CX would love to be doing.” he said. “It was just like bucket list stuff.”

“Sven just fully accepted me, so it was like the equivalent of working with someone like Chris Froome. Someone who has been at the top tier of their sport for so long. He was just so down to earth as were all the other guys and girls that I met.”

“It was a very welcoming environment. Just like other experiences I’ve had outside of the road scene in mountain biking and gravel,” he added. “The road scene is very special. Although it can also be viewed as quite cliquey and snobby. Once you’re in, you’re in kind of thing, but cross was so different to that.”

There Will Be Mud is available exclusively on GCN+ and can be watched via the GCN+ App, all web browsers, and smart TVs. A subscription includes access to more than 150 original and exclusive full-length documentaries, as well as live and on demand racing coverage, analysis and highlights.

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