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Ecuador's Olympic Road Race Champion Carapaz Yielding Title Defense to Narvaez

Posted : 28 May 2024

Richard Carapaz, the reigning Olympic Road race champion, will not be able to defend his title at the Paris Games, as Jhonatan Narvaez secures Ecuador's sole berth for the event, announced the Ecuadorian Cycling Federation (FEC) on Monday. The federation stated that Jhonatan Manuel Narvaez Prado will compete in both the road event and the individual time trial.


Carapaz, who clinched Ecuador's first-ever Olympic gold in road cycling, criticized the FEC's selection criteria, labeling them as "clearly skewed and lacking in the fundamental principles of fairness and sporting equality." He highlighted discrepancies in the application of the new rule, which considered points from January, but the regulation wasn't published until March, leading to an unfair advantage for some athletes.


Despite his disappointment, Carapaz extended his best wishes to 27-year-old Narvaez, acknowledging their shared history and camaraderie. Narvaez, who recently claimed victory in the first stage of the Giro d'Italia, shares a bond with Carapaz, having been teammates at Ineos for two seasons from 2020 to 2022. Carapaz expressed his support for Narvaez's Olympic endeavor, emphasizing his desire for Narvaez to represent Ecuador with distinction.


Carapaz's triumph at the Covid-delayed Tokyo Games in 2021, where he secured gold in the road race ahead of formidable competitors like Wout van Aert and Tadej Pogacar, remains a historic moment for Ecuadorian cycling, despite his absence in the upcoming Paris Olympics.


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