'Two days ago I just wanted to finish and be on holiday' says Hugh Carthy after maiden WorldTour victory

The Brit went on a 96km solo breakaway to win the final stage of the Tour de Suisse

Hugh Carthy on stage nine of the Tour de Suisse 2019 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Two days before Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) claimed a solo breakaway victory on stage nine of the Tour de Suisse all he wanted was to finish and head off on holiday.

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.

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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."

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.