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Hugh Carthy extends with EF Education–Nippo ahead of Giro d'Italia

Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) wins stage 9 at Tour de Suisse
Hugh Carthy will lead EF Education-Nippo at 2021 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images)

Britain's Hugh Carthy has extended his contract with the EF Education-Nippo team as he prepares to lead the US-registered WorldTour team at the Giro d'Italia.

"I chose to stay at EF simply because the team feels right," Carthy said in an announcement from the team. 

"We’re a weird mix of riders but we form a team. 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."

The lanky 26-year-old Lancastrian climber has been with Jonathan Vaughters' squad since 2017, improving year-on-year at WorldTour level after racing with John Herety’s Rapha-Condor squad in Britain and then Caja Rural in Spain.

He was 11th overall at the 2019 Giro d’Italia and then won a mountain stage at the Tour de Suisse with a solo attack. He made his Tour de France debut in 2020 and went on to shine at the Vuelta a España, winning the stage on the infamous Alto de L'Angliru climb and finishing third overall, just 1:15 down on winner Primož Roglič. 

That and some solid 2021 early-season form earned him a high place in the Cyclingnews Giro d'Italia Form Ranking. 

Carthy will lead EF Education-Nippo at the Giro, with the team also including veteran US rider Tejay van Garderen, Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol, 2020 Giro stage winner Jonathan Caicedo, and British-born but French-based Simon Carr. 

"Over the past few seasons he has really blossomed as a climber and has become a leader in this team as well. We are excited to have Hugh Carthy be part of the future of this team," Vaughters said. 

"Hugh represents this team’s foundational values. He works hard, isn’t scared to punch above his weight, and, most importantly, he stays true to himself. We knew his work ethic would pay off, and we’re just glad people are starting to notice."

The Giro d’Italia will be Carthy’s eighth Grand Tour and he seems to have learnt how to handle the daily racing, the pressure and the pain of three weeks in the saddle.  

"I’ve been in Grand Tours before where you settle into survival mode and the whole thing drags, so a few years ago I said no more survival mode, take every day as it comes, enjoy every stage and then it passes a lot quicker," he explained. 

"My favorite 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’ve witnessed here.

"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."