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26-year-old Hugh Carthy from Fulwood has become the first Prestonian to ride the world’s biggest and toughest annual sporting event: the Tour de France.
The race, which started in Nice on Saturday, winds its way through the mountains of the Pyrenees and Alps, before finishing three weeks and 2,146 miles later on the Champs Elysees in Paris. This year’s course is widely thought to be the toughest and most mountainous route for decades. Sunday’s stage alone included 3,700 metres of vertical climbing.
The mountains hold no fear for Hugh, who rides for the American EF Education squad. He’s already established himself as one of the most promising climbers in the world, winning the mountains competition in the Tours of Japan, Switzerland and Utah.
Read more: World Tour victory for Preston cycling ace Hugh Carthy
He is no stranger to Cycling’s Grand Tours, having ridden the Tours of Spain and Italy, finishing a superb 11th in 2019’s Giro d’Italia.
Hugh’s role at this year’s Tour de France is as a support rider to his Team leaders. This meant he had to drop back on stage two of the Tour to pace back his leader Daniel Martinez to the finish line, losing over three minutes of time in doing so.
Yesterday saw the first important stage of the race. Hugh rode up the final mountain climb alongside the Tour favourites and now sits in 39th position, 4 minutes and 8 seconds behind leader Julian Alaphilippe.
You can follow Hugh’s progress each day with live coverage of le Tour on ITV 4 and Eurosport, as well as via the ITV4 highlights show each evening at 7pm.
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What do you think of Preston having a cyclist in the Tour de France? Will you be watching to see how Hugh gets on? Let us know in the comments.