News: Tao Geoghegan Hart wins a Grand Tour!

Tao Geoghegan Hart rode the a perfect final stage to take overall victory at the Giro d’Italia. “Please don’t wake me up. So much love to you all GRAZIE tutti x”

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News: Tao Geoghegan Hart wins a Grand Tour!

The London born rider wrote another page of British cycling history, only the second Brit after Chris Froome to ever win the Giro d’Italia, winning the Italian Grand Tour Giro d’Italia by 39 seconds following an emphatic final day performance to beat Jai Hindley who was on the same time overall as Tao coming into the final stage.

The Giro ended how it began – with a time trial. Only this time there was so much at stake for two young riders who, three weeks ago in Sicily, had no idea they’d be competing for one of the biggest, toughest prizes in professional cycling, the pink leader’s jersey of the Giro d’Italia – the Maglia Rosa.

The former Hackney CC rider rode the stage of his life to capture the famous maglia rosa from Jai and join a very exclusive club of Grand Tour winners from Britain. The stage was won by his teammate Filippo Ganna who completed a magical day for Tao’s team. Winning a third of the stages, it represents the team’s most successful Grand Tour ever.
Rohan Dennis continued a superb final week of the race with third place in the time trial. The team’s overall performance also led to a dominant victory in the team classification.

Incredible rides from Dennis, Ganna, Jonathan Castroviejo, Ben Swift and Salvatore Puccio, in addition to Jhonatan Narvaez and Geraint Thomas, helped lay the foundations for a stunning and memorable race.

Tao Geoghegan Hart: “It’s been an incredible three weeks. I didn’t believe this was possible this morning but here we are. Wow! Last night I felt really relaxed. This morning I had a strange two hours in the room on my own, trying not to over-think it and listening to some good music. That was the only moment where the moment was sinking in – otherwise it was a pretty simple TT – going through the process and whatever happened, happened.

“Brad (Wiggins) gave me super advice just to focus on myself and the process. The same with G, he sent me a super nice text last night. Those are guys I’ve looked up to near enough half my life. They’re the ones that have inspired me to get here – watching this team inspired me.”

“I would love to see more cycling as a sport in London and more diversity in cycling that can definitely come from the sport increasing in popularity in cities like London. I think this is an amazing sport. It takes you to incredible places and you meet incredible people. I hope I can inspire a few kids in Hackney to dream big. Even if it’s not just in cycling.”

It’s incredible! It was impossible for me to even think about winning the Giro when we started in Sicily. All of my career I have dreamt of being top 10 or top 5 in a race like this. During the ITT my DS [Directeur Sportif] told me I was faster than Jai Hindley. When my DS told me not to take risks in the final part I understood I was close to the victory.”

Before his huge life changing moment in the time trial, Tao said on Twitter, “Sunday’s for me will always be playing football on the marshes and going to Brick Lane market with my old man & brother. Today is just another Sunday. I haven’t seen my family in 10 months, but they are always with me”.  Lets hope he gets plenty of time with the family now!

Filippo Ganna (stage winner): “I have won this ITT but I am even happier for my teammate Tao, it’s fantastic. I knew he could do it. Now I look forward to celebrating today’s results with Tao.”

Ji Hindley (second overall) An emotional Hindley said after the finish: “Of course it’s super disappointing to lose the jersey on the last day like that and at the moment it’s pretty hard to take. I think when I look back, I’ll be super proud with how the team and I rode the past three weeks. It’s a massive step forward in my career and it’s three weeks I’ll never forget. I think as a team we actually didn’t put a foot wrong all race to be honest and we can be super proud of what we’ve accomplished. I’d just like to thank the guys on the team, the whole team actually – the staff, everyone involved. It’s a massive operation to get here and to be on the podium in Milan; a lot of work, effort and time has gone into it and I really appreciate what the team has done to get me here.”

Wilco Kelderman (3rd overall) “I think we can be super happy as a team that we’re both on the podium. If we said upfront that we would both be on the podium, then people would have said we were crazy. What we achieved with the team together, it’s great. We were super strong, maybe the strongest team in the Giro, and that is something that we can be super happy about and proud of. We’ve been close in the past years, so we’re super happy to have achieved that now. Especially Jai, he showed his potential here and he stepped up to another level which is great for him and the coming years. He’ll be a bit disappointed but he can be really proud and he will have more chances to show what he can do.”

Axel Merckx ( former coach and mentor for Tao) (from the Guardian Newspaper): Tao is someone who touches a lot of people in his life and that’s the main thing you have to remember about him. He’s the real deal. When he rode for us, he rallied the troops, he encouraged his teammates, and he also told us when it wasn’t good enough – not in an angry or negative way, but in a kind and encouraging manner. Probably what I am most proud of, during my time working with him, is that he could have gone to Dave Brailsford and Team Sky a year sooner than he did, but he opted to stay with us. He had the chance to go there but he came to me and asked me, quite frankly: “What do you think? What should I do?”

He deserves this success. It’s always easy to say: “Oh, but Thomas, Yates, Kruiswijk weren’t there,” but in every Grand Tour riders crash and get sick and that was no different in this year’s Giro. It’s a little unfair on him: he was the strongest over the three weeks, he took the risks, it was the same race for everyone. He ended up with the maglia rosa in Milan and that’s all you have to remember. Full story here

Bradley Wiggins (Tour de France winner): “He’s just the nicest guy. He’s never once said he’s going to do this. He just wanted to be a professional cyclist and emulate his heroes,” said Wiggins, speaking on Eurosport’s ‘The Breakaway’. In some ways, he’ll think he’s not worthy of it and doesn’t really deserve it. He won’t change from this, this will do him. He’ll retire happy now if he wanted to. That’s my worry.

“I hope he kicks on from this and gets the opportunity to do it in the Tour de France and we can talk about him for the next 10 years. He’s happy to be submissive and he’ll ride for Geraint Thomas next year, Adam Yates and Egan Bernal but he’s a worthy, worthy champion and everything this country needs as a role model in sport. Much like Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, but this guy is young. I hope Tao gets his reward and his standing in this sport.” Source

1 Filippo Ganna INEOS Grenadiers 17:16
2 Victor Campenaerts NTT Pro Cycling Team + 32
3 Rohan Dennis INEOS Grenadiers + 32
4 Joao Almeida Deceuninck-Quick Step + 41
5 Miles Scotson Groupama-FDJ + 41
6 Josef Černý CCC Team + 44
7 Chad Haga Team Sunweb + 44
8 Brandon McNulty UAE Team Emirates + 46
9 Kamil Gradek CCC Team + 47
10 Jan Tratnik Bahrain-McLaren + 47

13 Tao Geoghegan Hart Youth jerseyLeader jersey INEOS Grenadiers + 58
17 Alex Dowsett Israel Start-Up Nation + 01:06
28 Ben Swift INEOS Grenadiers + 01:23
38 Jai Hindley Team Sunweb + 01:37
49 James Knox Deceuninck-Quick Step + 01:53
60 Matthew Holmes Lotto Soudal + 02:05
71 Jonathan Dibben Lotto Soudal + 02:13
83 Albert Torres Movistar Team + 02:24

1 Tao Geoghegan Hart INEOS Grenadiers 85:40:21
2 Jai Hindley Team Sunweb + 39
3 Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb + 01:29
4 Joao Almeida Deceuninck-Quick Step + 02:57
5 Pello Bilbao Bahrain-McLaren + 03:09
6 Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team + 07:02
7 Vincenzo Nibali Trek-Segafredo + 08:15
8 Patrick Konrad Bora – Hansgrohe + 08:42
9 Fausto Masnada Deceuninck-Quick Step + 09:57
10 Hermann Pernsteiner Bahrain-McLaren + 11:05

14 James Knox Deceuninck-Quick Step + 37:41
18 Ben Swift INEOS Grenadiers + 57:36
81 Matthew Holmes Lotto Soudal + 04:01:45
120 Alex Dowsett Israel Start-Up Nation + 05:23:04
133 Jonathan Dibben Lotto Soudal + 06:13:59

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