Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) closed out his second week at the Giro d’Italia with a hard-fought fourth-place on stage 15. The Preston man arrived with the maglia rosa into Como on Sunday, moving himself up to 14th in the overall standings with a week of racing remaining.
Carthy had suffered with the pace of the previous day’s mountainous ride to Courmayeur, finishing 5:40 down on the stage winner, and new race leader, Richard Carapaz, and losing almost three minutes to the other general classification contenders.
With a night of rest and a much more punchy parcours, Carthy took his race in his own hands on Sunday’s stage 15. Having hung on through the early moves on the Sormano, Carthy took his chance on the final climb of the day, the Civiglio. He was subsequently caught by Carapaz, Simon Yates and Vincenzo Nibali as the race dipped down towards the Lake Como. After a disappointing day in the high mountains, Carthy said that he was feeling much better and his early attack was to "mess with people’s heads".
“Legs came back today, yesterday they were lacking a little bit but today I felt fresh all day. To attack like I did on the final climb was instinctive and I knew going early is to mess with people’s heads. I just knew I had to a time trial to the top of the climb and there were plenty of people to keep me motivated along the way.
“Following Nibali and Carapaz on the descent was nice, you get caught up in it and the fear goes out your head, it was good to ride instinctively. The rest day is feeling well deserved now for everyone, I just need to switch off now and then hopefully come back again a bit stronger.”
It wasn’t an entirely good day for the EF Education First team with Joe Dombrowski crashing with just over 20 kilometres to go. It was unclear just how the accident occurred, but it happened near the back of the general classification group and it caught up Sunweb’s Chris Hamilton as he went down. In the end, Dombrowski finished almost two minutes behind his teammate, putting him in 15th overall at just 14 seconds behind Carthy. The duo is more than 14 minutes behind the race leader and almost nine minutes behind the final positions in the top 10.
The Giro d’Italia will resume on Tuesday with the queen stage to Ponte di Legno, which will no longer include the Passo di Gavia but still features the Mortirolo.