Preston star Hugh Carthy’s vote of thanks to his team after career high in Madrid

Preston’s Hugh Carthy has thanked his EF Pro Cycling team for helping him reach a career high with a third-place finish in the 2020 Vuelta a Espana, which finished in Madrid on Sunday.

Monday, 9th November 2020, 9:29 am
Updated Monday, 9th November 2020, 11:38 am
Hugh Carthy on the podium after the 18th and final stage of the Vuelta a Espana (Getty Images)

Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) was confirmed Vuelta champion a year on from becoming his country’s first Grand Tour winner, ending up 24 seconds ahead of Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers).

Carthy celebrated a podium finish as he came third, one minute and 15 seconds behind Roglic, and Ireland’s Dan Martin (Israel Start Up Nation) was fourth at two minutes and 43 seconds.

Fulwood-based Carthy told Eurosport: “I tried to test Roglic and Carapaz – in the end it wasn’t enough but I gave it my best – the whole team – for three weeks, so I can’t complain.

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“It’s a team effort. Without them I couldn’t have done the three weeks like this but I think with my effort as well, I’m happy with that and my progression.

“I’m proud of myself for showing my ability.”

At the start of Sunday’s stage, Carapaz’s team-mate Chris Froome received his trophy for triumphing at the 2011 Vuelta.

The Briton was officially declared the winner in July last year following a doping case involving Juan Jose Cobo that saw the Spaniard stripped of the title. At the time Froome was recovering from a horror crash during a reconnaissance ride at the Criterium du Dauphine that left him with injuries including a broken femur and broken ribs.

The 35-year-old seven-time Grand Tour winner, whose final position in this year’s Vuelta was 98th, said on Sunday: “It’s a really special victory. I have really special memories obviously looking back to this period, but also the way I was told about this victory, when I woke up the day after my big accident last year.

“I was in ICU still when I was told: ‘Congratulations, you’ve won La Vuelta.’ That was a really strange feeling. It was such a special race to me.

“It’s where I first discovered myself as a Grand Tour rider and a GC contender.

“It gave me confidence to then go on to the Tour de France, to keep targeting Grand Tours. I certainly hope next season I’ll be here in a different capacity.”

Germany’s Lisa Brennauer was overall winner of the Ceratizit Madrid Challenge, the three-day women’s version of the Vuelta.

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