This summer, Mitch Docker embraced the alt calendar spirit in a major way.
Hugh Carthy wins final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos
Brit shows excellent form ahead of the Vuelta a España
Hugh Carthy took his first victory of the year just one week ahead of the Vuelta a España. The Brit rode to victory in the only summit finish at the Vuelta a Burgos.
Jumping into the early break, Lawson Craddock and five other riders quickly built up a five minute lead over the peloton in the final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. With the Texan safely up the road, much of the early pressure was off Carthy. The stage was slated to end with a hors categorie peak and the British climber was one of the clear favorites for the day.
Over the next 140 kilometers, the peloton slowly chipped away at the break’s advantage as various teams collaborated to reel in Craddock and his companions. As the six rider break dwindled down to just three, Craddock continued to ride fiercely even as the pace grew more furious, countering every attack and staying in the front group.
From the outset, Carthy wasn’t sure how the stage would go. “I wasn’t really feeling that great to be honest,” he said. “I was at the back all day and towards the end I was moving up, little by little, gaining places in the peloton.”
As the race ascended the 10% ramps of Lagunas de Neila in the closing kilometers, the peloton at last had the remaining trio of the break in their sights. Passing under the kilometer to go marker, a handful of favorites began their accelerations, a rash of attacks unleashed.
With 600 meters to go, Carthy found himself climbing with just a few others. As the finish line drew nearer, he persevered. “On the final climb, something changed and I was able to surprise them.”
Digging one last time with the finish line just 400 meters away, Carthy rode away from the race, soloing across the finish line with a triumphant fist raised in the air.
Sports Director Juanma Garate was pleased not only with Carthy’s climbing, but also with the entire team’s dedication to the plan and to one another, explaining, “This is the greatest way to finish the Vuelta a Burgos, especially with Hugh as he gets ready for the Vuelta a España. We didn’t have a great start to the Vuelta a Burgos. We were here as practice with more or less the same guys that are going to be at the Vuelta and we had some good practice in the wind and as a team but we didn’t have any results until today.”
Emphasizing teamwork, Garate continued, “This morning we went all in for it. We tried to help Hugh to be in a good position on the last climb. We agreed to wait a little until the last few hundred meters to make our move and the team executed perfectly. I am super happy for the team, for Hugh and for the morale that he will bring with him to the Vuelta.”