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Hugh Carthy will ride for EF Education-EasyPost once again in 2024

Hugh Carthy: You can’t be superhuman all the time

‘I can use Vuelta a España disappointment to improve for next year,’ EF Education-EasyPost climber says at Vuelta a España

Clock08:52, Monday 18th September 2023

Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) may have podiumed at the Vuelta a España in 2020 but the British climber still came into this race year’s as a relative underdog. 10 stages in and the EF rider sat just outside of the top ten thanks to a string of solid performances in the mountains but after illness struck on the stage to the summit of the Tourmalet, the 29-year-old’s race began to spiral.

Read more: Jonas Vingegaard wins atop the Col du Tourmalet as plenty of riders' hopes are dashed

The hope of a strong GC challenge was dashed after losing 30 minutes on stage 14 to Larra-Belagua and although Carthy rallied with a daring break on stage 20 he would eventually roll into Madrid 23rd overall, over an hour down on general classification winner Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma).

Read more: Vuelta a España stage 21: Sepp Kuss crowned champion

“It’s not really gone that well. It was going okay and I was holding my own but then I had some bad luck with health and stuff. It wasn’t the best outcome with a bit of a cold and an infection. It was unfortunate but there was nothing that I could do,” a resilient but realistic Carthy told GCN at the race.

“I had a bit of sickness in the build-up too, in the weeks leading up to the race, and there was a crash as well. I was coming around day by day and was starting to ride better but then this happened with sickness but that’s how racing can go. There will be another chance in the future. I can’t change anything now. Before getting sick I was going okay. I was getting better and I think that I would have been able to feature but it wasn’t to be and there’s no point dwelling on it because it’s done.”

The season isn’t quite finished for the Preston-born climber. He will head to the Gree-Tour of Guangxi in October before finally pulling the curtain down on his 2023 campaign. Once the dust has settled Carthy will sit down with his team of coaches, management and allies to discuss how the season unfolded and plan his assault on 2024.

“I’ve not finished the season yet so once I’m done in a few weeks I’ll do some thinking with the team and evaluate the work towards next year in a good way. We’ll look at the positives and the negatives and find a way to go forward,” he said.

It has been a tumultuous season for the pure climber with a string of decent results in the first half of the year before he was forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia in May when another top-ten overall looked possible. It’s a second straight season without a win. Still, there were certainly moments to be proud of during this year, including second overall at the Tour of the Alps, eighth in Tirreno-Adriatico, and some resilient riding in both the Giro and the Vuelta before bad luck struck.

“I started well and had a good start to the year and then I became a bit unstuck in the second half of the season. That’s the way it goes sometimes,” Carthy said.

Read more: Pro bike: Hugh Carthy's Cannondale SuperSix EVO LAB71

“I’ve had years when things have gone really well and I’ve had years when I’ve had a strong second half but not a great first half. You can’t be superhuman all the time and you can be vulnerable to illness. It’s not been a bad season but there are some things that I’m not happy with and disappointed with but I can’t change that now. I can use it as a source to improve for next year. I can’t be specific because that’s between me, the team, family and friends.”

The Vuelta a España may be over, but there's still plenty of time to catch up on any racing you might have missed, with on-demand coverage and highlights available on GCN+. As for news, standings and race reports, make sure to check out our Vuelta a España landing page.

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