Tao Geoghegan Hart was keen to celebrate his second consecutive stage victory at the Tour of the Alps but didn’t shy away from criticising the twisting finale of the stage to Ritten that saw Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën) crash.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider and race leader saw Gall go down next to him as riders fought for position into a sweeping downhill curve with 500 metres to go. Geoghegan Hart was well placed up front and led onto the sweeping concrete finish, beating Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) but vented his anger after he crossed the line.
“I really like this race and the organisers but I wasn’t a fan of that finish. If it’d been wet on that concrete last 300 metres… For me it was a bit too much,” Geoghegan Hart explained in the post-race press conference.
“If the winner of the race pedals for maybe 80 metres in the last 300 metres, I’m not sure if that’s typical for a bike race. If you see Felix Gall crash on that corner, just to try to make a normal sprint, it was a bit on the limit. For me it wasn’t a correct last 500 metres.”
Some of the most successful riders in the current peloton often avoid taking a stand about race safety and the wider interest of the peloton due to pressure from major race organisers, the UCI and their sponsors.
Geoghegan Hart has never been afraid to speak out and take a stand for his fellow riders. He did that as leader and stage winner of the Tour of the Alps, highlighting how the election of new CPA president Adam Hansen is working hard on safety.
“I didn’t really want to say that to be honest, but at the end of the day, there aren’t that many people who are willing to put their head up a bit, but I’ve no problem doing that,” Geoghegan Hart said.
“This shouldn’t be the story of a great stage but it’s important not to pass over these things. We’ve got a new CPA president in Adam Hansen and he’s doing some great things to create dialogue in a good way. It’s important we all go in the right way [regarding race safety] together.
“To be clear, I wasn’t angry with Jack Haig, I don’t want to see any colleague crash, because a lot of guys are preparing for the big goals.
“This is a nice race. We could have finished on the main road. I understand the desire to do something different but it needs to be done the right way and today was a little bit too much.”
🇮🇹 @TourOfTheAlps🥴🩹 À demain 👊🏼#AG2RCITROËNTEAM #RoulonsAutrement #MadeInTheAlps – © Pauline…
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