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Giro champ Richard Carapaz to fly direct to Spain next week

New rules open door for Team Ineos star to fly direct to Europe without detour via Colombia.

Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos) will be returning to Europe next week, and he won’t be riding his bike to Colombia.

Sources close to the 2019 Giro d’Italia champion confirmed to VeloNews that Carapaz and compatriot and teammate Jhonatan Narváez will fly directly from Quito, Ecuador, to Madrid on July 15. That comes on the heels of a decision by Spanish authorities this week to ease the way for foreign athletes to enter Spain despite a ban on most flights from the Americans into the European Union.

Carapaz was in the headlines last week when it appeared likely he would try to join a special charter flight of Colombian athletes departing July 19 from Bogotá. With the border closed between Colombia and Ecuador, much was made about possible complications for Carapaz. Some media outlets suggested that Carapaz was considering riding his bike nearly 1,000km from his home to the Colombian capital, but sources said Carapaz was only considering riding part of the journey in order to continue his training program.

Carapaz’s return to Europe will allow him to rejoin his new Team Ineos teammates and prepare for his return to racing.

Carapaz, who has emerged as a superstar in Ecuador, is scheduled to be one of the headline starters at the Vuelta a Burgos (July 28 to August 1) in northern Spain in what will be one of the first major races in Europe since the coronavirus forced a shutdown of competition in March.

Carapaz, who has put a Giro defense at the center of his recalibrated season, will also race at the Tour de Pologne (August 5-9) and Tirreno-Adriatico (September 7-13) ahead of the Giro (October 3-25).