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The race climbs to the summit of Blockhaus on stage 9 with huge gaps expected by the end of the day.
Carthy comes into the stage sitting 18th in the overall classification, 2:20 down on current maglia rosa Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo).
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“I think that there will be some pure attacks. It’s probably one of the hardest climbs in the race this year and one of the hardest stages. It’s normal to expect attacks. I hope to be there, and on a good day I expect to be there,” Carthy said at the start of stage 9.
The stage comes a day before the second rest-day in the Giro d’Italia, and that in itself lends to the prospect of major attacks from a host of potential GC contenders.
“It’s one of the top two hardest stages and there will be a GC battle. Whether that’s for the stage win too, I don’t know. There will be a GC battle,” added Carthy.
“The race hasn’t really begun yet but the last two days have been quite testing. Stage 7 was a hard day and yesterday was a challenge.”
Carthy will have to do without two teammates in the race after both Simon Carr and Owain Doull both abandoned due to illness. Their departures leave EF Education-EasyPost with six riders left in the race.
“I’m happy with where I’m at. I lost a little bit of time in the time trial but other than that I feel good,” said Carthy.
“It’s not ideal to go from eight to six in 24 hours but now we have to make it a strong group and continue. We can’t change it. We have to make do with what we’ve got. They both did a good job in the first week so you have to look at the positives and continue with what we’ve got.”