British rider Hugh Carthy will ride for the Cannondale-Drapac team from the 2017 season, the American WorldTour squad confirmed on Tuesday.
Carthy has enjoyed a stand-out year so far with Spanish squad Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, winning the Vuelta a Asturias overall and placing ninth overall at the Volta a Catalunya, where he also topped the best young rider classification.
The 22-year-old had previously ridden for the British-based Rapha-Condor team, where he originally caught the eye of Cannondale sports director and former professional Charly Wegelius. Carthy revealed that he and Wegelius have been in regular contact throughout this season - and the two historically shared a trainer.
Reportedly, Carthy was offered deals with other teams but settled on Cannondale.
“I spoke to Charly a lot over the past year or so. It’s quite relaxed it seems," Carthy said of his signing to the Cannondale-Drapac team.
"The team roster at the moment has quite a lot of young riders, also experienced riders. I think that mix is something that’s important. It’s something I’ve had here, with my current team, for the past two years.
“You have the guidance as well but at the same time you have some freedom. That balance was what I was looking for on a team, and Cannondale-Drapac seemed the best fit for that criteria."
Wegelius said of Carthy: "We’ve got a shared past, which isn’t the reason I went after him but the reason he came to my attention quite early.
"He’s trained by the guy who trained me when I was a young rider, Ken Matheson, and then he raced with John Herety at Rapha. I’ve always tracked him, kept an eye on him.”
Cannondale-Drapac CEO Jonathan Vaughters gave a glowing assessment of Carthy's talent, saying: "In my opinion probably the best young stage-racing talent out of the UK, if not period. I think he’s got a big future in three-week races, and we want to help him develop into the best rider he can be."
Long-term, Carthy is aiming to ride in Grand Tours and his performance against some of the best climbers in the world this season would suggest that he has enormous potential.
On Monday, it was announced that British rider Jon Dibben would join Cannondale-Drapac for the remainder of the 2016 season as a stagiaire.
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