Hugh Carthy says his third place overall at the Vuelta a España is a turning point in his career and that he wants to continue aiming for general classification results at Grand Tours in years to come.
"This is a really big change. I want to keep fighting for good rankings in the future," the EF Pro Cycling rider said after the finish of stage 17, where he tried multiple times to attack the two men ahead of him on GC, race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers).
"We had to deal with a headwind and that didn't work in my favour," Carthy said of the conditions up the final climb, the Alto de la Covatilla.
"I had to try something, I tried to attack in order to move up in the rankings. I got a bit desperate in the final, but I tried anyway."
After Carthy had hit out a couple of times and weakened everyone's legs, Carapaz made his move at the perfect moment, launching away from the group and quickly putting time into Roglič. Carthy eventually also distanced the race leader, but neither were able to overhaul the Slovenian's 45-second lead on GC. Carapaz will finish the race 24 seconds down in second, with Carthy third, 1-15 in arrears.
Before the start in Irún on October 20th, few would have expected Carthy to arrive in Madrid having secured a podium spot, and the Prestonian says he only wants to kick on from here.
"I am very satisfied with how my Vuelta has gone. This is a turning point in my career," the 26-year-old said.
"I don't want to slow down now, as there are still plenty of opportunities to come in the future. I can count on a great team, it is the perfect environment for a GC rider."
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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.
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