Hugh Carthy (Cannondale-Drapac) again kicked off the attacks on the climb to the finish line on stage 3 of the Tour of Alps, trying to set up his teammates, test his own limits as the Giro d’Italia rapidly approaches, and strengthen his lead in the best young rider’s competition.
The Briton’s attack was pulled back and Mikel Landa, Domenico Pozzovivo and then Geraint Thomas went on to fight for stage victory, but Carthy managed to stay with the chasers and finished 10th on the stage, in an exclusive gruppetto. The likes of Michele Scarponi and Dario Cataldo (Astana) and Egan Bernal (Androni Giocattoli) all finished behind him. Bernal is his closest rival in the white jersey competition but is 17 seconds back.
22 year-old Carthy has now racked up two top-10 places on the two uphill finishes at the Tour of the Alps after also finishing eighth on stage 1 to Innsbruck, where he was also on the attack.
“I’m pleased with my performance and the jersey is more of a by-product of that,” Carthy explained as he waited in the warmth of the local library for his turn at anti-doping.
“It was a tough day – freezing cold all day. We waited until the hardest section of the climb with five kilometres to go. We went there with the aim of instigating something, to set something up for [Davide] Formolo or [Pierre] Rolland, to see if anyone could counter the move, but it was tricky because Astana and Team Sky were riding such a hard pace so it was difficult to make an impact. But we tried.
“The team is looking strong as a unit. We had three in the top 10 today and we can only regard that positively.”
Ready for the Giro
Carthy is set to ride the second Grand Tour of his young career in May. He rode the Vuelta a Espana with Caja Rural last year but will have a key role in the Cannondale-Drapac squad for the Giro d’Italia next month.
Carthy can be expected to help Formolo and Rolland in the Giro but clearly has the climbing ability to show his potential on a mountain stage. He feels he is coming into form ready for the 100th edition of the Corsa Rosa that begins in Sardinia on May 5.
“I’m pleased with my form and with how I’ve trained with my perspective on the Giro,” he explained with the composure and self-confidence that distinguishes his character.
“We’ve got a couple of weeks left and have still got time, but I don’t think I need to do any more now. If I did too much it could be detrimental. I’ll just continue what I’ve done so far and just try to start the Giro relaxed and as fresh as possible.
“I’m not going to get complacent; the Giro is at another level. There’s a stage that’s 250km with the same kind of terrain – in fact even harder terrain – so it’s important not to get complacent based on what happens in this race.”