British rider Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) put in a great performance yesterday on the queen stage of the Route du Sud, as he finished in third place just behind Nairo Quintana (Movistar). His performance now leaves him a podium position before today’s final stage of the race.
Yesterday’s stage in the high mountains took place in bad weather conditions, making it a very cold and wet day for the peloton. However, the Caja Rural – Seguros RGA riders put in a great performance.
In a reduced peloton, the team still had four riders in the mix as they crossed the top of the legendary climb, Col du Tourmalet, with 60 km to go.
More teammates joined the peloton on the following long descent, but soon after the pack started on the final climb of the day, Col de Couraduque, it was down to a small group once again. Sergio Pardilla, David Arroyo and Ricardo Vilela were all there to support Carthy.
Movistar kept a high pace, thinning out the group until only six riders were left at the front, including both Pardilla and Carthy.
With 3 km left to go, Marc Soler (Movistar) attacked and he quickly gained a gap. In the final kilometre, Carthy put it all on the line and attacked the leading rider Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
The 21-year-old Brit came very close to catching Soler but he had to settle for third place as Quintana passed him right on the line. Pardilla finished 6th on the stage, Vilela 7th and Arroyo 10th making Caja Rural – Seguros RGA topping the team classification on the day.
In the general classification, Carthy is now third, 58 seconds behind Quintana. Tomorrow, the race finishes with a 19 km circuit in Clermont-Pouyguillès, which the peloton will cover eight times before crossing the finishing line for the final time.
Hugh Carthy: “I had already marked this stage as an opportunity for me and I accomplished that goal. The rain made it a hard day but the whole team performed very well. I felt good on the final climb and I went for it. I would have liked to do better, but to arrive with Quintana and take third place is a good result. Tomorrow is another day. It’s a typical French course with short and steep hills. We have to stay very alert to keep this overall podium position”.