On the final stage nine the Brit saw the day’s break heading up the road, quickly bridging over to them before hitting out himself, staying away for the remaining 96km of the 101.5km stage, as Egan Bernal (Ineos) rode to the overall victory.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
How did he manage that? “I don’t know I’m still thinking about it,” Carthy said in his post-race interview. “On the first climb I knew my legs, body and head were good. But terrain like that [the route featuring three HC-category climbs] it’s just up and down. It’s a time trial and it’s the same for everyone behind and in front, it’s just one effort per climb. You just have to believe you can do it.”
An effort such as Carthy’s takes some doing, let alone after eight days of racing against some of the best riders in the world. However, the 24-year-old said that stage nine was not a day he had highlighted as one with potential for him to take the victory.
“It genuinely wasn’t planned,” he said, “two days ago, the stage to St. Gotthard, I was terrible. Everything was tired, I wanted to be on holiday and finish the first part of the season.
“But at the time trial yesterday the legs were better and I felt more motivated and decided to finish on a high before the holidays.”
Carthy won many admirers at this year’s Giro d’Italia, where he finished 11th and consistently animated the race. This, however, is his first victory in a WorldTour race.
“It’s still sinking in,” Carthy said, “but for for me personally I just feel relief. We train hard and make sacrifices and we lose sight of victory. We want to win every race but It’s just relief to pay back the confidence of my team and team-mates, it’s nothing more than that at the moment.”