• Proud show for Prestonian Hugh Carthy to lead 2020 Vuelta a Espana as Roglic takes summit stage victory

By Andrew Atkinson

Fellow Prestonian Hugh Carthy at one stage lead the condensed 2020 Vuelta a Espana, that started in the Basque Country on October 20, where 2019 winner Primoz Roglic took the summit stage victory from a select group to reclaim the red jersey he won last year.

Roglič got the better of 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz atop the category 1 Alto de Arrate, in one of the hardest opening stages of a Grand Tour in history.

Only eight riders remained in the leading group in the closing kilometre after Roglič’s teammate Sepp Kuss and EF Pro Cycling’s Carthy took turns attacking on the climb.

Roglič bided his time and put in a blistering surge with one kilometre to go, to take out the stage victory and the lead of the race by five seconds over Carapaz, with Dan Martin, third at seven seconds.

La Vuelta a Espana 2020 Stage 1 of La Vuelta Spanish Grand Tour course had four categorised climbs, including a cat one in Arrate, it being Chris Froome’s final Grand Tour for Ineos Grenadiers.

Preston, Lancashire born Carthy, 26, who attacked earliest in the final, wound up with the last place from that lead group, seventh.

Carthy career highlights feature the Vuelta Asturias Julio Alvarez Mendo, Tour de Korea, Tour de Suisse, Colorado Classic, Giro de Italia and Tour de la Provence, and the CG Volta Ciclusta da Catalunya in 2018.

Slovenian Rojic blitzed away from the elite group with 500m to go. It was audacious riding from Lancastrian Carthy as he attacked, with Kuss and Roglic, Dan Martin and Enric Mas, with Carthy becoming the EF Pro Cycling’s GC leader at one stage.