Ecuador: Cyclist Carapaz receives hero’s welcome in Quito after Giro d’Italia win

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Hundreds of people lined up along the highway leading from Quito’s airport to Ecuador’s capital to greet cyclist and Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz on Monday.

Families and supporters held pink balloons and Ecuadorian flags, while cyclists wearing pink, which is the official colour of the Italian competition, followed Carapaz’s bus heading to a press conference.

“We are here welcoming the best Ecuadorian ambassador to the world. This was a historical triumph only reserved for strong, hardened, humble men like Richard,” said supporter Hugo Narvaez.

Speaking at a press conference on the same day in Quito, Carapaz said Ecuador needs to support cycling more and provide young athletes with more competitions and training schools.

He added: “The best gift Ecuador could give me is that people respect cyclists on the road. That would be the best present.”

The athlete became the first Ecuadorian to win the Giro d’Italia on June 2.

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