Hugh Carthy Peter Crouch Of Cycling Is Part Of New Brit Pack

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Hugh Carthy Peter Crouch Of Cycling Is Part Of New Brit Pack

A man who came third in a bicycle race might not seem like a game changer.

But it gives a clue to the very creditable possibility Britain is on the verge of another golden period in a sport in which it has seen immeasurable success across the previous decade.

Hugh Carthy’s hard-fought podium place as a result of some cold mountain passes at the Vuelta a Espana is arguably just as significant as Tao Geoghegan Hart’s glittering victory at the Giro d’Italia for Ineos Grenadiers last month.

The hard yards of EF Pro Cycling’s Carthy were done before Saturday’s climb up to Alto de la Covatilla.

And they were done with fewer team-mates, in a team with a lower budget and with victory on a stage where only a few have triumphed.

All resulting in another relatively young rider forming part of a new Brit pack who are phenomenally good at racing bicycles – and could potentially spend the next decade tearing strips off each other on the most brutal mountain climbs across Europe and beyond.

There are strong riders, riders who have their day and special riders who can do things most others cannot.

The Alto de l’Angliru is a famed proving ground for some of the sport’s best – including Alberto Contador, who in 2017 beat eventual Vuelta winner Chris Froome there.

Carthy was patient in the build-up to that moment on stage 12 and, perhaps with an honesty in cycling only a man from Preston could express, had pain etched right across his face as he and his rivals climbed up ascents which included a 17% gradient.

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As rare as it is to see an athlete’s pain in a sport where a poker face is said to count for a lot, Carthy’s impassioned yelps as he sped towards the line 26 seconds ahead of expected winner Primoz Roglic revealed a cathartic release.

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Prior to Monday’s 109.4km run up to the Angliru from Pola de Laviana, Carthy probably belonged to a group of riders generally accepted as ‘good’ by a peloton which, at times, has more rules for respect among its peers than a prison hierarchy.

Things should be different now. He’s moved up a notch in the bunch’s meticulously-managed pecking order.

Hugh Carthy Peter Crouch Of Cycling Is Part Of New Brit Pack

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