Confirmed. You could see that with the way he was riding on previous stages already.I don't think Carthy is in top5 GC worthy form here anyway.
In 2020 they brought to the Tour de France Uran, Martinez, Carthy and Higuita. Among all of them, only Uran was in GC form. Then to the Vuelta they brought Carthy, Woods and Martinez. Only Carthy among all of them was in GC form.
In 2021 when they bring Carthy alone to a GT, it's likely to end up like that. EF rarely come to the race with a big favourite and they've always relied on numbers to have someone come good during the race. If you only bring one rider with potential, odds are not great. That's why I'm so disappointment with the loss of depth after 2020 and you can see how it hurts the team on days like today.
Not much is going to change in 2022 if they only sign riders like Shaw, Kudus and Healy, I'm afraid.
They could use a sprinter. Maybe not a big name but at least someone they could ride for in those smaller races with a lot of flat stages like Tour de Pologne. Right now their best sprinter is a man who took his last 2 wins after solos on a climb. Their 2nd best sprinter hasn't finished a stage in more than a year and their 3rd best sprinter hasn't participated in a single sprint since joining the team last year.
I think it's been some 10 years since their last proper sprint win in WT.