Only the crying beat him after touching the sky. The Ecuadorian cyclist Richard Carapaz won the Giro d’Italia, after 21 intense days and 90 hours of racing. He is the second Latin American to achieve this distinction, and the first Ecuadorian to reach this milestone in world sport.
When he reached the finish line, he stopped for a few seconds on the pink carpet and, even on his bicycle, he cried. That infinite emotion was not interrupted by anyone. After almost a minute he got off the bike and raised his right arm like the new Italian Tour champion. The first hug he received was that of Mrs. Ana Montenegro, his mother.
His presence was surprising for Richard, as was that of Don Antonio Carapaz, his father. The parents of the great champion saw their participation behind the prize stand, through a mobile phone. “It’s a very big emotion. It is not the same to see him succeed on television at home than here, live, “said Don Antonio, who was wearing a gray Giro commemorative shirt. In his eyes there were signs of tears and after embracing him he wrapped him in the tricolor, which later led to the award platform.
Then he embraced Tania, his wife, who wore the Maglia Rosa, because she was convinced that her husband, whom she met ten years ago in the classrooms of the school, was going to be crowned champion. Expand The next turn was for Santiago and Sofia, their little ones of 5 and 2 years old, who did not understand the hubbub that was in their environment.
He took them both by the hand to receive the Senza Fine trophy (‘Sin Fin’) because sometimes they claim their presence at home. Richard spends long periods in the mountains, training, or in Europe, competing. That’s why Sofía and Santiago took the podium.
“I’m still not aware of what it means to win the Tour. In Ecuador there is no fondness for cycling. 21 days ago they did not believe in me and now I see a country that has turned its attention to me. That is very special, “said Carapaz.
“That to become a hero is something that sports gives you. But it is important to know that sometimes an athlete is up, like now, that he feels everyone’s support. I hope they do too when I’m down, “he said in the press area before heading to doping control.
He returned again with his children to embrace them. In them he overturned all the accumulation of feelings and sensations. They still did not understand that their father is the best cyclist of the Giro, that centenary contest that brings together 200 cyclists, many of them world champions. Sofia and Santiago, oblivious to the hullabaloo, just wanted to have their father close by. (D)