For some top riders the feeling after taking their first win in nearly three years could be close to relief that such a lengthy gap between victories is finally over. But after Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) crossed the line with his arms in the air at the summit of stage 4 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, his take on his first triumph since the overall of the 2020 Giro d’Italia was markedly different.
“No, I don’t think so,” the Londoner told a small group of journalists behind the Valenciana winner’s podium truck when asked about whether relief came into his mental equation following his victory, “it’s just an honour and a pleasure.”
“Like I just said, it’s a really hard sport to have success so I’m just really happy to have paid off the teammates, specially today. They did an amazing job on the second stage, and it was just one of those where I didn’t get it quite right,” Geoghegan Hart said, referring to two days ago when he was subsequently relegated from second to last at Valenciana’s first summit finish for an irregular sprint.
“I could have had a bit more confidence in some respects. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and after last year, it’s just about creating momentum and taking it day by day and all those other boring cliches.”
After what he defined as “difficult moments” in the last two years, where major misfortunes like the crash in the first week of the 2022 Vuelta a España have pushed the Briton out the running just when he seemed to be getting back into the swing of things, Geoghegan Hart was markedly chary about overstating his short-term goals even for stage 5 of Valenciana.
Rather than reveal any thoughts about the prospect of challenging for the overall, despite the time bonus for the stage 4 win leaving him just four seconds down on race leader Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), for now, he said, he was focussed on enjoying what he had achieved on the fourth stage. That, and how, after an incident-free winter of training, he had got there.
Scoring wins in a season like 2023 when his contract is up for renewal could be seen as having added value. But again rather than agree with a reporter who called contract seasons ‘big years’, Geoghegan answered simply “It’s always a big season in cycling, mate”.
“Every season I’ve had in my entire career is a big season, that’s the way I look at it. I love training, I love this sport, cycling. It doesn’t make any difference if…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CyclingNews RSS Feed…