Hugh Carthy says he’s got nothing to lose in the final week of the Vuelta a España 2020, after his huge time trial performance on stage 13.
The EF Pro Cycling rider was amongst the strongest of the general classification contenders in the TT, finishing fourth on the stage and holding his podium spot overall.
But with just five stages remaining, Carthy says he’s willing to gamble for the victory.
In an interview with ITV after the TT, the Lancastrian said: “I’ve got nothing to lose so i’m going to gamble. Stage 17 is my best opportunity, but I think there’s a few dangerous stages that people haven’t really focussed on. There’s a few dark horse stages coming up and you’ve got to have your wits about you there, or things can go pear shaped.
“But I’ve got a stage win and several top performances, I haven’t really got anything to lose. I’m in a position where I can go home now happy, so there’s no pressure and no-one with a knife at my chest to finish the job.”
Carthy currently sits third overall, 47 seconds behind race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and just eight seconds behind second-place Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), and already has his stage victory after a phenomenal performance on the Angliru on stage 12.
But the opportunities for the GC contenders are running out with only one mountain-top finish left in the race, stage 17 to Alto de la Covatilla.
Speaking about his TT ride, Carthy said: “I started off well, had good legs and I was able to carry on. I arrived at the climb pretty good, ahead of people on time, the confidence and the motivation carried me up the climb.”
The 26-year-old recced the course with his team-mate Tejay van Garderen on the morning of the TT, who coached Carthy through the route.
On whether it was the best TT he’d ever ridden, Carthy added: “It’s probably up there. It’s close to an evening 10 back at home.”