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BREDA, Netherlands (VN) – It was a brief heart-in-mouth moment for Ineos Grenadiers when their leader Richard Carapaz crashed 20 kilometers from the end of stage 3 of the Vuelta a España on a tight corner.
However, the Ecuadorean was up quickly and after putting his chain back, he rejoined the bunch. He finished 55th on the same time as winner Sam Bennett, not worse for wear.
“He just had a little tumble, he hit a cone,” Ineos Grenadiers deputy principal Rod Ellingworth told VeloNews after the race. “Fortunately he’s fine. That’s the thing with this game, every meter counts. He was laughing about it [on the team bus].”
It was announced a few days ago that Carapaz is set to join EF Education-EasyPost in 2023.
As the Vuelta peloton flies to the Basque Country this evening ahead of the race’s first rest day, Ellingworth is happy with their showing in the opening three stages, which had a few nervy moments.
“For us, it’s been really good. They’ve all stayed safe, which is one thing,” Ellingworth said. “They’ve put in a really good team time trial and the last two days, they’ve done exactly what they said they wanted to do. The guys are all in good spirits.”
After finishing second in the race-opening TTT, Ineos Grenadiers has seven riders grouped between seventh and thirteenth overall.
That includes Ethan Hayter in the white jersey of best young rider, and GC men Carapaz, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Pavel Sivakov, all 13 seconds down on new leader Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma).