Castroviejo: "It is hard to assume that another is so superior"

Ineos, who appeared with "the best team ever" in Brest, suffer with Richard Carapaz in fourth position, 5:33 behind Tadej Pogacar.


Michal Kwiatkowski saved the Ineos ballot in the 2020 Tour with his victory, accompanied by Richard Carapaz, in La Roche-sur-Foron. Defending champion Egan Bernal retired with back problems. Then came the titles in the Giro of Tao Geoghegan Hart (2020) and the Colombian himself (2021), as well as the second place of Carapaz in the Vuelta of 2020. However, Ineos has recovered its worst version in this Tour, and that they came with “the strongest block ever lined up”, as Dave Brailsford, their manager, emphasized.

Geraint Thomas fell and lost his options to the overall, Tao and Richie Porte (third in 2020) gave up early, and Carapaz is fourth, 5:33 behind Tadej Pogacar and a second from the drawer (provisionally, Jonas Vingegaard). No victories. Everyone expected more, including themselves: "We did not shoot at the level of yellow," assumes Porte. "This is not a dream premiere," acknowledges Tao. Jonathan Castroviejo, talisman as a squire in the last two Pink Corsas, does not throw in the towel: “The two hardest days in the Pyrenees are missing and we will not give up. We want at least for Richie to finish on the podium… if we don't manage to unseat the leader, which seems very difficult. ”

The 34-year-old from Bizkaia contemplates that the British squad will take control of the demanding Pyrenean chains: “Our current situation does not differ much from when we defend a jersey or throw a teammate, simply that in this case we are behind and we need to cut differences. Of course, it is difficult to manage that a rival is so superior to us. We are not used to it, honestly. " For Castro, who ends his contract with Ineos this campaign (the leadership wants it to continue), it will mean the last effort of 2021 in a three-week round. He will not go to the Games, despite his outstanding role as a gregarious person, or to the Vuelta. “He will have a well-deserved rest when the Tour concludes, and hopefully with some joy from Carapaz” .

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