Tour de France: Tao Geoghegan Hart in his debut
Hackney’s Tao Geoghegan Hart made no effort when he gave a blunt but honest assessment of his Tour de France debut.
The 26-year-old INEOS Grenadiers cyclist completed his three weeks of work on the sustainable 3,414.4 km course in 85 hours 33 minutes 38 seconds for a respectable 60th place overall.
He was the third best British driver after his 2018 winning teammate Geraint Thomas (41st place) and Mark Donovan of the DSM team (45th place).
The Slovenian United Arab Emirates team Emirates Tadej Pogacar, 22, retained the yellow jersey title on the winners’ podium at the Champs-Elysées in Paris in 82 hours 56 minutes 36 seconds, ahead of the Danish Jonas Vingegaard, 24 , from Jumbo-Visma which was 5 minutes 20 seconds away and another from Geoghegan. Hart’s colleague, winner of the 2019 Giro d’Italia of Ecuador, Richard Carapaz, 28 years old.
Geoghegan Hart’s best fate came last Thursday on the 129.7km stage 18 as he tried to help Carapaz win the final mountain stage of the Tour de Pau at the Pyrenees ski resort of Luz Ardiden in the south of France.
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Unfortunately for the Ecuadorian, he arrived two seconds behind Pogacar and Vingegaard while Hackney’s man crossed in 29th position, 4min 34secs behind the stage winner.
“It was good,” Geoghegan Hart told ITV Sport’s Daniel Friebe. “It was a shame when Carapaz (Richard) came on because I was about to start, I accelerated and the plan was to go up to 3 km, so I was kinda in the mood It’s easier I can take it, so much the better once the job is done so no stress for me.
“You just have to try to be professional about it. There are always bad things going on in big races and you see it every day. That’s life and you just have to do your best every day, than this. either on the flat, sprint for twenty seconds on a turn, do your best on the climb or whatever.
“It’s your job and it’s professional sport. It’s a shame for Richard, too bad he couldn’t get on a stage but there are no gifts in cycling, it’s sure.”
Geoghegan Hart believes he can build on his success at last year’s Giro D’Italia.
“I look forward to more great tours to come because it’s definitely not the best, but that’s life.”
Geoghegan Hart is now heading to Tokyo, Japan in search of Olympic glory in road races and ITT events and insists he is more than ready to compete.
“I have been ready for Tokyo since last week since the second Tour rest day,” he said.
“My back was like good again. I was definitely a little tired from some kind of pain when I couldn’t push properly. I’ve been feeling great the last few days. I have handled the workload and I also tried to work with Richard so that there is a balance. “