Volta a la Valenciana – Tao Third

Strong start to the season for Tao Geoghegan Hart as he finishes third overall in Volta a la Valenciana “For me it was a massive honour to have Swifty there in the British champ’s jersey”

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Volta a la Valenciana – Tao Third

Team Press Release

Tao Geoghegan Hart finished safely on the final day to secure a strong podium finish in Valencia.

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The young Brit was able to cross the line in the peloton, with a bunch finish allowing him to clinch third place and one of the best stage race results of his career. With no time bonuses during the race, Geoghegan Hart occupied the same time as second-placed Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott), with just stage placings separating the two riders.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) had made sure of overall victory on the steep slopes of Saturday’s queen stage, in which Geoghegan Hart finished third. Six seconds proved to be the final margin of victory.

Ben Swift sprinted to 12th place on the final stage after playing a key support role during the race. The final bunch kick was won by Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step). Gianni Moscon also impressed with 11th place overall.

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Tao Geoghegan Hart: “With the way my programme is this year I wasn’t specifically targeting this race. There’s still quite a lot of time after this until my big targets for the year, so it was a pleasant surprise and a nice start to the year to build on.

“I didn’t really know what to expect on the queen stage climb. I hadn’t done a recon but quite a few training partners of mine had been up there having had team camps down that way. They all said it was difficult and I found it was as hard, if not harder, than the similar type of climbs I did at the Vuelta last year. Actually the whole day was really hard. We went pretty quick all day so it wasn’t just the final climb. It’s not every race that you do climbs that steep. In some ways I don’t think it makes for the best racing, because it almost neutralises it a little bit. At the same time it did split the race up fairly well. It is what it is – the first hard climb of the year done and now onwards.

“Everyone was riding really well. For me it was a massive honour to have Swifty there in the British champ’s jersey, Michal (Kwiatkowski) with the rainbow bands around his arms, and the whole team helping out. They all rallied yesterday to make sure I had a perfect position into the climb. Then they took it on and gave me a lot of confidence to believe in myself, to try and go for the stage, and with that the GC. It didn’t quite happen but it wasn’t too far off either, so that’s a really nice start for the first race of the year.”
Final standings:

Tadej Pogačar :“ This win means a lot to me, especially after all the hard work we did in the winter to prepare. To start my first race and win is incredible, my form is really good – not as good as when I was in the Vuelta a Espana obviously, but the season is still early. My first big goal of the year will be the UAE Tour at the end of this month before building up towards my first Tour de France.”

Jack Haig – 2nd Overall – “I am super happy to come away with second on GC, it is probably a better result than we even expected. We came here mainly just to test how the winter had gone and see how my fitness was and go through the process of me practicing to be a GC leader and for the team to work towards that goal too, so also on top of that to come away with he result of second on GC is really, really good.

“The stage today was relatively easy with it being a short stage and not so much wind. both Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck-Quickstep controlled the race knowing they had two really strong sprinters here. With around 20km to go the guys really did a great job trying to keep myself and Luka positioned well ,as there was the same time between Tao (Geoghegan Hart) and myself overall, so we couldn’t lose any positions or risk any time gaps. “I am looking forward to the next races and hopefully can capitalise on the momentum I’ve built here and continue the start of the season like I did last year.”

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 18:43:00
2. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) +6″
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team INEOS) s.t.
4. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +13″
5. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain McLaren) +23″
11. Gianni Moscon (Team INEOS) +1:19″



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