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Richard Carapaz set for shock move to EF Education-EasyPost

American team set to sign its best GC prospect in years with Carapaz joining from Ineos Grenadiers for 2023.

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VeloNews has learned that Richard Carapaz is on his way to EF Education-EasyPost after turning down the chance to sign for Movistar or re-sign with Ineos Grenadiers.

EF Education-EasyPost refused to comment when contacted by VeloNews this week but our understanding is that the deal is done and that it will be officially ratified by the UCI on August 1 of this year when the governing body’s official transfer window opens.

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Carapaz has drawn major interest in the transfer market this year.

The 2019 Giro d’Italia winner is one of the few genuine GC riders on the market for 2023 and plenty of WorldTour teams were considering rebuilding their teams with Carapaz onboard.

A return to Movistar seemed most likely during the spring and the Giro d’Italia, while Ineos remained tight-lipped on whether they would retain the 29-year-old. It was understood that Carapaz would decide his future almost immediately after this year’s Giro.

The Olympic road champion moved to the British WorldTour team in 2020 and finished second in the Vuelta that year. He followed that up with third in the 2021 Tour de France and second in the Giro d’Italia this year.

With Egan Bernal signing a contract extension at Ineos before his career-threatening accident, and Adam Yates likely to re-sign, Carapaz was looking for a team in which he would have guaranteed leadership for the grand tours.

EF-Education EasyPost certainly offers him that. It’s still unclear if long-time leader Rigoberto Urán will extend his future on the team, but even if the veteran re-signs it will likely be as a road captain and mentor, rather than a GC prospect in grand tours. That left the American team with a hole in its roster. It already has the likes of Hugh Carthy, Neilson Powless and a number of young riders capable of supporting a grand tour challenge but Carapaz will give them a real focal point in races like the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.

The likes of Carthy would still have plenty of chances of their own but Carapaz is undoubtedly an upgrade when it comes to three-week racing.

The rider from Ecuador is also an accomplished one-week racer with a win in the Tour de Suisse on his palmarès. It’s unclear whether Carapaz has signed a two or three-year deal at this point, but those details are likely to emerge in the coming weeks.