• Quote: ‘It all feels harder now. Finishing third in Vuelta has definitely made me more confident in my abilities – that doesn’t mean the pressure’s off’

By Andrew Atkinson

FELLOW Prestonian Hugh Carthy believes it’s the hard graft that has lead to his rise in the world of cycling that saw him achieve a best ever Grand Tour finish in the Vuelta a España, finishing third on the podium in 2020, underlined by a memorable Alto d’ Angliru stage win.

“I like working, going into races – grinding,” said Preston born Carthy.

Carthy, 26, has signed a new two-year extension to his contract with EF Education-Nippo, following impressive displays while riding for the squad.

Carthy, who took a solo victory at the Tour de Suisse in 2019, riding alone for 98km over three huge mountain passes in the Swiss Alps, said: “I chose to stay at EF because the team feels right. We’re a weird mix of riders but we form a team.

Hugh Carthy: Favourite memory Vuelta a España 2020. Photo: Instagram.
Hugh Carthy: Favourite memory Vuelta a España 2020. Photo: Instagram.

“When it feels right staying seems the only logical option. I’ve had some nice memories and made good friends here amongst riders and staff. I want to continue on this journey and play my part in the team’s great legacy.”

Nicknamed the ‘Lancashire Long-Shot’, six-foot plus Carthy proved himself at the 2020 Vuelta a España when on the podium with winner Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and second-place Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) in Madrid.

“My favourite memory with the team must have been the Vuelta 2020, the team really knitted together those three weeks and was the best team performance.

“I’m looking forward to trying to lead the team to success and have fun doing it, not just focus on being good bike riders but good people, too.”

Team boss Jonathan Vaughters signed Carthy from Spanish squad Caja Rural for the 2017 season. Carthy had spent two years at the team living in Spain, prior to starting his career at British continental team, Rapha-Condor.

Carthy’s next race is the Giro d’Italia in May where he will lead the team against the world’s best Grand Tour riders including Simon Yates (BikeExchange), Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious).

“It all feels harder now. Finishing third in the Vuelta has definitely made me more realise and more confident in my abilities – but that doesn’t mean that the pressure is off.

“It’s not like I don’t feel I’ve got nothing to prove anymore – it’s almost harder. Now I’ve got to prove it all again,” said Carthy.

Carthy, who finished fifth in the 2021 Tour of The Alps in April, said: “2020 was a good year. You know what it takes – but it’s hard.

“You’ve got to get on with it. There’s no substitute for hard work. If you stop thinking that it will be the day you crumble.

“I like working. Grinding. Going into races. Getting stronger and learning.”

Caption: Hugh Carthy: Favourite memory Vuelta a España 2020. Photo: Instagram.

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