“He’s proving to himself and the world that he can not only be present at the highest level, but also win.” -Charly Wegelius
The Lancashire man of few words has had his breakthrough year during the 2019 season. Hugh Carthy started the year strong taking third on the general classification (GC) at the Tour Cycliste International du Haut Var. He continued to impress with a standout performance at the Giro d’Italia, where he was regularly seen setting a rapid tempo at the front of the race making the GC favorites sit up and take notice.
Over the course of the three week Italian Grand Tour, success included three top ten stage finishes and third in the young rider’s competition. He then went on to win his first ever WorldTour race on stage nine at the Tour de Suisse; this was the year where all Carthy’s hard work started to come to fruition. EF Education First Pro Cycling is excited to continue to nurture Carthy’s talent and are happy to announce his re-signing through 2021. Carthy’s
“Mentally I didn’t think I’ve changed too much [after such a breakthrough year], but then I had a break and went back home and saw family and friends and it sank in a bit more,” noted Carthy.
“But then when you return to Europe you forget about it a bit, it’s like you’re back to square one, you just want to get out and race again.”
Carthy’s standout moment is, unsurprisingly, his time on top of the podium.
“Winning my first WorldTour race with the team, that’s probably one of my stand out moments,” said Carthy. “There have been a lot of nice moments that have led up to that moment, where the team have shown support and faith in me and that’s really nice.”
EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters was impressed with Carthy’s win in Switzerland: “Hugh’s spectacular win in Tour de Suisse convinced me that he’s a very special type of talent. He’s an emotional and passionate racer. His 100 kilometers solo in Suisse was evocative of the big mountain raids we used to see in the 70s and 80s. He’s exactly the type of rider we want on this team.”
The Vuelta a España, was anticipated to be another race for further standout performances, but unfortunately saw him crash out on stage six with a broken collarbone after a mass pile-up in the peloton. Not one to languish in self-pity, the day after his surgery, his arm in a sling, Carthy was at the start of stage nine in Andorra to see his teammates off and support the team in their revised Vuelta ambitions. The smile across his face was a sign that it would take more than injury and forced abandons to keep him down.
Carthy notes that when it comes to tough moments he’s witnessed quite a few over the last few years, especially the ones the team has had to overcome, “The team has gone through some ups and downs over the time that I’ve been here, and I’ve been here with the team when in some ways it was at its lowest point; a couple years ago when it nearly went under. Since then I feel like I’ve grown with the team in a way, and even more so with all the support we receive from everyone around the globe at EF.”
His personal growth, both physically and mentally, has been recognized by the team and is why this year especially, he’s been given more responsibility and lead roles in races.
“Hugh has made some crucial steps in his progression this year,” head sport director Charly Wegelius says. “He’s proving to himself and the world that he can not only be present at the highest level, but also win. This has given him the reassurance that he needed, that he is on the right track. There is still a long way to go until we find out where the ceiling is for Hugh, and I am delighted that we can continue this journey together.”
As Hugh Carthy continues with the team we also have new faces for 2020, like Portuguese rider, Ruben Guerreiro, read more about him here.