Tao Geoghegan Hart dedicated his spectacular victory on the first stage of the Tour of the Alps in Austria for the Ineos Grenadiers to his father.
The British driver timed his final kick to the finish line perfectly, taking control of the race on day one past Bahrain’s Victorious’ Jack Haig and EF Education-EasyPost’s Hugh Carthy, as Ineos DS Matteo Tosatto A head start before the race The race is on.
After receiving the leader’s jersey on the podium, Geoghegan Hart spoke to the media and dedicated his stage win as a belated birthday present to his father.
“Today was really big, yesterday was my dad’s birthday and I really wanted to give him a win,” Geoghegan Hart said. “We don’t get a lot of time together these days, so winning today is really special to me and it’s for him.”
The Ineos Grenadiers rode aggressively throughout the second half of the opening period, with Haig – the late attacker on the penultimate climb – in time to be caught thanks to good performances from the likes of Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas and Laurens De Plus Pulling back Geoghegan Hart started his sprint.
“Of course when you’re sitting there all day in round six or five and watching those guys push like they do and really fly all day, you want to win for them as well,” he added. “We just look at each day now as it comes out, I was in the same position a few years ago in the first stage, and then we used our data and Pavel [Sivakov] won the GC.”
“We’ve got a really good team here and we’re all trying to win as many and as many wins as we can. We’re going to play as hard as we can in the game to make that happen.”
Ahead of the start of the Giro d’Alpes, many riders spoke about how they will use the race to prepare for the upcoming Giro d’Italia. However, Geoghegan Hart explained that he felt it had done “damage” to the game, and he disagreed with the characterization of it as a simple “warm-up” exercise.
“Every game is very important,” he said. “I’ve said that all year. Every time you fix a number, you have to respect that race. Nothing is preparation, and it certainly wasn’t in modern cycling for the last three or four years.”
“Personally, not speaking for anyone, I hope to have a good five days here. I won’t be playing to prepare for other things.”