Vuelta a España: Hugh Carthy keeps hopes of another British grand tour victory alive

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Thymen Arensman of The Netherlands and Team Sunweb / Hugh Carthy of The United Kingdom and Team EF Pro Cycling / Pierre-Luc Perichon of France and Team Cofidis Solutions Credits / Dylan Van Baarle of The Netherlands and Team INEOS - Grenadiers / Tim Wellens of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal / Zdenek Stybar of Czech Republic and Team Deceuninck - Quick-Step / Marc Soler Gimenez of Spain and Movistar Team / Breakaway / during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020, Stage 14 a 204,7km stage from Lugo to Ourense  - David Ramos /David Ramos Thymen Arensman of The Netherlands and Team Sunweb / Hugh Carthy of The United Kingdom and Team EF Pro Cycling / Pierre-Luc Perichon of France and Team Cofidis Solutions Credits / Dylan Van Baarle of The Netherlands and Team INEOS - Grenadiers / Tim Wellens of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal / Zdenek Stybar of Czech Republic and Team Deceuninck - Quick-Step / Marc Soler Gimenez of Spain and Movistar Team / Breakaway / during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020, Stage 14 a 204,7km stage from Lugo to Ourense  - David Ramos /David Ramos 
Thymen Arensman of The Netherlands and Team Sunweb / Hugh Carthy of The United Kingdom and Team EF Pro Cycling / Pierre-Luc Perichon of France and Team Cofidis Solutions Credits / Dylan Van Baarle of The Netherlands and Team INEOS – Grenadiers / Tim Wellens of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal / Zdenek Stybar of Czech Republic and Team Deceuninck – Quick-Step / Marc Soler Gimenez of Spain and Movistar Team / Breakaway / during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020, Stage 14 a 204,7km stage from Lugo to Ourense  – David Ramos /David Ramos 

Hugh Carthy finished safely in the bunch on stage 14 of the Vuelta a España to remain in the hunt for an unlikely victory. 

Carthy, 26, lies third overall in the final grand tour — and race — of the season, only 47 seconds behind Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and eight behind Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers).

Wednesday’s long 204km stage, featuring three smaller categorised climbs in the second half and a sharp uphill finish, looked perfectly suited to a breakaway and that was how it played out. An elite seven-rider group rode clear of the bunch after 40km with Lotto-Soudal’s Tim Wellens eventually pipping EF Pro Cycling’s Michael Woods in Ourense. 

The leaders finished among a large pack 3min44sec behind Wellens with Israel Start-Up Nation’s Dan Martin winning the sprint for the minor places, albeit unable to gain any time with his attack. 

Martin lies fourth in the standings at 1min42sec, and cannot be completely ruled out for the overall victory. But it is looking increasingly like a three-way fight between Roglic, Carapaz and Carthy, with chances to attack Roglic before the finish in Madrid on Sunday fast running out.

Saturday’s stage to Alto de la Covatilla may be the real opportunity with two more lumpy days to come on Thursday and Friday when it will be difficult to create splits.

That will not stop teams trying. Seven-time grand tour winner Chris Froome, who began the Vuelta way off the pace but has been improving steadily as it has worn on, said Ineos would be on the lookout for any ambush opportunities to help Carapaz. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Ecuadorean surrendered the lead to Roglic in Tuesday’s time trial, when he gave up 49secs to the Slovenian. “I think Richard Carapaz actually rode a fantastic time trial yesterday,” Froome told Eurosport. “You have to remember, he is not a time-triallist like Roglic is, and I think for him to lose less than a minute was a fantastic ride. It does leave us a lot of work to do in the last few days and we are going to be staying awake for any opportunities to try and regain the race lead again.”” data-reactid=”30″>The Ecuadorean surrendered the lead to Roglic in Tuesday’s time trial, when he gave up 49secs to the Slovenian. “I think Richard Carapaz actually rode a fantastic time trial yesterday,” Froome told Eurosport. “You have to remember, he is not a time-triallist like Roglic is, and I think for him to lose less than a minute was a fantastic ride. It does leave us a lot of work to do in the last few days and we are going to be staying awake for any opportunities to try and regain the race lead again.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Carthy, meanwhile, sounded relaxed. “I’ve got nothing to lose now, so I think I’m going to gamble,” Carthy told&nbsp;ITV Sport&nbsp;when asked if he’d stick with third or aim his sights higher. “With the stage win [on the Angliru on Sunday] and several other top performances now I’ve got nothing to lose.”” data-reactid=”31″>Carthy, meanwhile, sounded relaxed. “I’ve got nothing to lose now, so I think I’m going to gamble,” Carthy told ITV Sport when asked if he’d stick with third or aim his sights higher. “With the stage win [on the Angliru on Sunday] and several other top performances now I’ve got nothing to lose.”