Geoghegan Hart eyeing the Giro for 2019

11 Jan 2019

Geoghegan Hart eyeing the Giro for 2019

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Tao Geoghegan Hart hopes to take the next step in his career by racing the Giro d'Italia for the first time in 2019.

The Hackney-born Brit enjoyed another eye-catching campaign in 2018, starring at the Criterium du Dauphine in support of Geraint Thomas and finishing fifth overall at the Tour of California, having helped teammate and close friend Egan Bernal to the title.
 
Geoghegan Hart went on to race his maiden Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España in August and believes the lessons he learned there will help him push on again as he enters his third year as a professional.
 
He said: "I’ve definitely got my eyes set on the Giro for 2019. I think it’s a good natural progression after the Vuelta last season. That will be the target and it’s been nice to bring that to the team and see eye-to-eye straight away. They were thinking along the same lines so that always makes life a little bit easier.
 
"The second year with the team was definitely progression from the first which was my aim coming into the year - that was an umbrella goal for the season. I’ve always looked to do that year upon year and I think it's natural for a young rider - even though I’m starting to edge away from that category!
 
"The first part of the season was a little more positive than the second part but I’d say if anything there are far more lessons to be learnt from that second part. It encompassed my first Grand Tour. It’s a year to look back on very positively and fondly, which is important, and there’s lots to carry forward into this year - which I intend to do."

Geoghegan Hart is honest his assessment of the Vuelta and is pleased to have the experience of a Grand Tour behind him.
 
"It was a very positive experience on the whole," he continues. "From a results and performance perspective I was pretty disappointed with the race and that’s something I can be comfortable about being open with because I think it’s important to not just always be too positive about everything, and highlight when stuff hasn’t gone right.
 
"It definitely took a few weeks or even a little bit longer to try and process that and boil down why that had happened. I still piece little bits together or change my mind on why I guess, but I think getting that first Grand Tour done - and I didn’t want to approach it with the mentality of getting it out of the way - but definitely from that day-by-day, really long-term view, that was really new and something I’ll take forward with me. I’m really glad to have had it in my second year with the team."
Tao Geoghegan Hart

Tao Geoghegan Hart

It doesn’t mean that you’re not always learning from those around you in races, younger or older.
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Geoghegan Hart formed a strong bond with Bernal across 2018, starting at Colombia Oro y Paz and epitomised at the Tour of California, where the pair dovetailed to brilliant effect, helping Bernal to a dominant victory Stateside.
 
And Tao believes he learnt a lot from the Colombian last season: "Racing alongside him, seeing how successful he was, and the way he approached the race. I guess the irony in that is there was occasions when I was the one guiding him in races but it doesn’t mean that you’re not always learning from those around you in races, younger or older."
 
Those early-season races alongside Bernal paved the way for Geoghegan Hart's Dauphine selection and he was able to take a lot from that experience too: "For me it was really special racing the Dauphine, especially with what G went on to do the month after that. I was pretty nervous through the first three or four days of the race, even on the bike, feeling stiffer and less fluid than I normally would just from the sense of occasion and being with the ‘A team’ a few weeks out from their big, big goal of the season.
 
"There was some pressure going into that environment and not wanting to mess up or derail all their hard work, so that was a really good experience to have got under my belt. To be around those guys, not only in a huge race, but also in anticipation of an even bigger goal, was a great experience."

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