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The Ineos Grenadiers captain was out the back of the peloton after falling at about 80km to go. The Olympic champion was uninjured and once he was back in the race, tried to snatch away the pink jersey in the wild finale of Tuesday’s thrilling finish.
“It looked like it was going to be an easy stage, but in the end, it was quite complicated,” Carapaz said at the line. “It was up and down all day, and there were moments of tension. I had a small crash and I fell on my side. Nothing happened to me, it was just a small slip.”
Ineos Grenadiers towed him back to the front and then surged hard in the closing climb with less than 10km to go to try to drop overnight leader Juan Pedro López (Ineos Grenadiers) and surprise the other GC rivals.
“The team did a great job to bring me back,” Carapaz said. “In the end, we tried to position ourselves for the final in the sprint to gain some seconds. And in the end, we are satisfied to finish in the group with how it turned out to be there with the group of sprinters.”
Carapaz finished fifth on the stage, and López managed to finish inside the front group to defend pink.
López was later relieved he could defend pink on such a surprisingly hectic finale.
“It felt like a race for GC today. Nobody expected a race like this. It was very hard,” López said. “I’m glad I managed to retain the maglia rosa. I realized from the roadside it was a stage dedicated to Michele Scarponi. It was touching.”