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Carthy: Giro d'Italia 'overall is still there' despite bad day on Blockhaus

Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) at the Giro d'Italia
Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) at the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images)

"The overall's still there" is how Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) sees his immediate GC future in the Giro d'Italia despite a bad – but not disastrous – day on Blockhaus on stage 9 and some snappy late attacks on stage 10 to open the second week.

Carthy's time loss of 3:48 on the Blockhaus has left the British contender on the outer reaches of the GC battle, with his current overall position after 11 stages 15th at 4:22.

But as Carthy sees it, his best strategy is not to drop the GC altogether, but try and push back as and when he can on the climbs in the third week – and perhaps before.

Shearing off the front in the final kilometres of stage 10's hilly finish at Jesi offered both a good morale boost after Sunday's disappointment, but more than a master plan to regain time, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision," Carthy told Cyclingnews on Wednesday after stage 11.

"The overall's still there, yesterday [Tuesday] was just a nice chance to attack," Carthy said. "It was just a small group and the way the finish, there was no danger if I did get caught I'd get dropped.

"So I was in the right position, I made a little move. It was a little bit opportunistic, just I tried my luck."

While Tour of the Alps went relatively well for Carthy with a top 10 finish, he had warned pre-Giro that he had not had the smoothest of build-up in the first part of the season. But on Tuesday he said that his bad day on the Blockhaus was not a symptom of a major problem.

"There's nothing going wrong underneath, I started off feeling OK, even if most of the day it was a hot, hard stage.

"I was in a bit of difficulty on the middle section and had five or 10 minutes where it wasn't good. But I got myself together, got in the forest and ploughed onto the finish. I'd limited my losses. It was a disappointing day but it could have been worse."

Carthy argues that after Tuesday's late digs he probably won't try anything more this week before the set piece high mountain stages in the Giro's final third.

In the meantime, he says, the Giro has yet to take on a definitive shape in the GC, and the top ten "crammed full of riders" with very limited time gaps between them. All that has really been established is that "Ineos are on top of their game," Carthy says, with everything still to play for in his own case.

"It's a four-minute gap, so I don't have to do anything dramatic yet," Carthy argues. "For now, it's just keep calm and carry on."

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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.