Having started the day joint-fifth in the general classification, Preston star Carthy – riding for EF Education-Nippo – is now 45 seconds adrift of race leader Egan Bernal Gomez.
Stage 10 from L’Aquila to Foligno was won by Peter Sagan who delivered a hard-fought victory for Bora-Hansgrohe as Bernal retained the pink jersey.
After Sagan’s team-mates rode hard on the front for much of the 139km stage from L’Aquila to drop several sprint rivals, the three-time former world champion made it pay as he held off Fernando Gaviria and Davide Cimolai to claim his second career Giro stage win.
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They came across the line in a much-reduced sprint well ahead of the main favourites after a late crash for Max Kanter split the group, but with the incident inside the last three kilometres no time gaps were awarded.
That meant the Ineos Grenadiers’ Bernal stayed out in front, though his advantage was trimmed by one second to 14 after Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Remco Evenepoel pipped him in the battle for time bonuses at the second intermediate sprint.
Carthy is sixth, 45 seconds down, with Bury-born Simon Yates of Team BikeExchange in ninth a further 11 seconds back.
A sprint finish was always expected on the final stage before the first rest day, a predominantly downhill run away from the Apennine mountains, but Bora used the climbs there were in the second half of the day to set up the win.
One by one the likes of Dylan Groenewegen, Tim Merlier and Giacomo Nizzolo fell away from the peloton, but Gaviria, Cimolai and Elia Viviani stuck around to ensure Sagan still had work to do at the end.
“I have to say thanks to all my team-mates,” Sagan said.
“They did an impressive job, it was full gas for the last time climbs and we dropped some sprinters. It was not enough to drop everyone, but in the end I won and I’m very happy.”
It is Sagan’s first sprint win in the Giro after he took his first stage with a solo effort last year – also on stage 10 – and the Slovakian moved past Merlier to top the points classification.