Carthy battered, bruised and disappointed after Route de Sud crash ends podium hopes

'A rider from Direct Energie dragged me by my saddle,' says British rider

A crash on the final stage of the Route du Sud saw Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) lose any chance of finishing on the overall podium. The British rider came into the final stage sitting in third place overall - less than a minute off the lead -  after a strong showing on the previous day in the mountains. The 21-year-old was at least fortunate to escape any serious injuries but he blamed rider error for his fall.

However, the crash saw Carthy finish dead last on the final stage of the French stage race and concede nearly eight minutes to his rivals. He dropped from third in GC to 22nd overall.

The final stage of the race was won by Arnaud Demare (FDJ). Nairo Quintana (Movistar) showed his pre-Tour de France condition while wrapping up the overall classification.

"It was a fairly calm stage. On the last couple of laps, there was a bit of a fight for positions but nothing too dramatic," Carthy said at the finish.

"My teammates put me in a good position before the final climb but as we started climbing, a rider from Direct Energie dragged me by my saddle, which caused me to collide with another rider and crash. I didn't suffer any serious injuries. I'm only battered, bruised and disappointed."

Despite the fall, Carthy tried to take the positives from the race. The British rider has enjoyed a successful season with impressive rides in Catalunya and the overall win the Vuelta Ciclista Asturias.

"However, overall, the race went very well for the team. We showed ourselves at the head of the race every day, racing respectfully and aggressively. It's a shame it had to end like this today but that's cycling. You have to take the good with the bad. Now, I'll have a break for a week and then I'll start to train again, focusing on the second part of the season."

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