By Nigel Wynn
British rider Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural) won the opening stage of the Vuelta Asturias in Spain on Saturday.
The 21-year-old took a solo victory after attacking with team-mate Sergio Pardilla on the final climb to the line on Alto del Acebo.
Carthy then went solo in the last two kilometres to take his first victory of the season. However, it's not the first time that Carthy has shown his climbing form this year, having won the young rider classification at the Volta a Catalunya in March.
Pardilla came home for second, with Garikoitz Bravo (Euskadi) in third. Carthy takes the early race lead.
“This has been a great day for us," Carthy said after the win. "We came here with a strong team, hoping to win this stage and we did it.
"We knew it was important to start the final climb in a good position and the team worked perfectly to set it up. First, Madrazo attacked to make a selection and later, Pardilla and I went aiming for the stage win.
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"There are still two hard stages left but we have a strong and experienced team to defend the lead and make the race hard."
Carthy rode for British team Rapha Condor JLT during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and made the switch to Spanish professional continental outfit Caja Rural in 2015. He hopes to be picked to start the 2016 Vuelta a España, which would be his first Grand Tour outing.
Two hilly stages of the UCI 2.1-ranked Vuelta Asturias remain, finishing on Monday, May 2.
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