EF Education-EasyPost continued their run of success at the Tour of the Alps, with Simon Carr winning the final stage to Brunico ahead of Georg Steinhauser, while Hugh Carthy took second overall behind winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers).
Jefferson Cepeda was also in the thick of the action on the mountain stages, going close to a victory and only losing the mountain’s competition on the final day.
EF Education-EasyPost have won 14 races so far in 2023, with Ben Healy one of the revelations of the spring after his impressive performances and second places at the Amstel Gold Race and De Brabantse Pijl. Neilson Powless has recently been unlucky with crashes but was third at Dwars door Vlaanderen and then fifth at the Tour of Flanders, in the quality group of chasers behind UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogačar.
Carr and Powless will lead EF Education-EasyPost on Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
The US-registered WorldTour team have not yet won a WorldTour stage race in 2023 but are ninth in the UCI team rankings and so carefully above the relegation zone that could see teams demoted after 2026.
New team leader Richard Carapaz is still building his form after tonsillectomy surgery in mid-December but EF Education-EasyPost will have Carthy, Rigoberto Uran, Cepeda, Healy and stage-hunter Magnus Cort in their Giro d’Italia squad.
Carr will target other races in May, the team hoping he can win below WorldTour level rather than suffer Grand Tours.
“Any win is important. It’s been a while since my last one, if there’s been a lot of times I’ve been trying to get there,” Carr said. “I had a good start with the team in 2021 but then in 2022 I had injuries and illness. I’ve come back stronger this year and was in the breaks at Catalunya. There were opportunities here for me and so I seized them.”
Carthy prefers to let his legs do the talking but impressed at the Tour of the Alps. He went close to victory on stage 1 and then finished in the front group on each stage. He only lost time to Geoghegan Hart due to time bonuses and rode well alongside other Giro d’Italia contenders and climbers.
“Every race is an objective for me, I’m not one of those riders who likes to put all my eggs in one basket,” he explained to Cyclingnews.
“Every race now is valuable, as we saw last year with the race for ranking points and a place for the team in the WorldTour. In the long term it was a stepping stone to the Giro d’Italia but in the short term it was…
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