Carapaz pride of Ecuador after sealing first Giro d'Italia

Verona (Italy) (AFP) –


Richard Carapaz sealed his first Giro d'Italia to become the first cyclist from Ecuador to win a Grand Tour race after Sunday's final 17km time-trial stage in Verona.

The 26-year-old Movistar rider finished 1min 05sec ahead of former two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, riding for Bahrain-Merida.

American Chad Haga of the Sunweb team won the 21st and final stage of the 102nd edition of the three-week race around Italy.

Carapaz finished 36th in the stage which finished in Verona's Roman Amphitheatre, 1min 12sec adrift of Haga, but it was enough to seal victory for the Ecuadorian competing for the second time in the race after finishing fourth last year.

He won two stages -- the fourth at Frascati and 14th at Courmayeur -- and wore the leader's pink jersey for eight days after pulling ahead on the foot of Mont Blanc in the Alps.

The rider from the Andes had started in Bologna on May 11 as a support rider for Spaniard Mikel Landa, but quickly stamped his mark on the race, particularly in the mountains.

Carapaz becomes just the second South American to win the Giro after Colombian Nairo Quintana in 2014.

Slovenian Primoz Roglic, winner of the first two stages, moved back overall third for his first podium finish on a Grand Tour, at the expense of Landa who dropped to fourth.

Haga, 30, won the stage ahead of Belgian duo Victor Campenaerts and Thomas De Gendt, both riding for Lotto.