With a rapidly growing contingent of young Spanish-speaking riders, you might expect Team Ineos – the meticulous masters of detail – to have invested in someone to bring them up to speed with English to try to integrate them more smoothly into the British team. So who has Richard Carapaz been using as his language tutor since he signed for the squad this year? He smiles a warm, endearing smile and with an almost guilty laugh he says, “Spongebob.”
The Ecuadorian starts our interview with a jovial “hey man”, a greeting that was probably all the reigning Giro d’Italia champion could muster in English when he joined Team Ineos from Movistar last winter.
“When I first met the team in Majorca in December at our training camp, my English was zero,” he reveals to Cycling Weekly . “But now I can say one or two things, order some food and I understand things when others are talking. I think in a few months I will improve a lot.”
And that’s where the yellow Squarepants-wearing sponge comes into our conversation, as it turns out that it is the TV programme, a children’s favourite, that he watches most frequently to help his language development. “I like cartoons and it’s one of my favourites.
“I know some of the episodes off by heart and from memory so I repeat them in English and learn from it. There are many good episodes to learn from.”
So what about his first name – one of the most […]