Tao Geoghegan Hart wins first race of career at Tour of the Alps as Team Sky rider shows form ahead of Giro d’Italia

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Tao Geoghegan Hart celebrates on the podium after winning first race of his professional career - 2019 Getty Images
Tao Geoghegan Hart celebrates on the podium after winning first race of his professional career – 2019 Getty Images

Tao Geoghegan Hart clinched the first race of his professional career on Monday after the Team Sky rider won the opening stage at the Tour of the Alps in Austria.

Geoghegan Hart’s victory came after Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) had attacked on the final ascent of the Hinterthiersee climb, taking with him Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Pavel Sivakov (Team Sky) and the young Briton.

After appearing poised to stay away, the quartet were reined back in only for Majka to escape off the front. With both Team Sky and Astana benefiting from numbers in the main group the two teams controlled the chase before catching the Pole. 

As the finishing line came into view, Geoghegan Hart seized the initiative in what appeared a chaotic finale with the Team Sky rider finishing ahead of  Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Roland Thalmann (Vorarlberg-Santic).

“It was a beautiful day and a beautiful parcours,” Geoghegan Hart said. “I’m really happy to take my first professional win here in Austria.

“I think we have a strong team here, we showed that with four guys across the line at the finish in the front group. We have [Chris] Froomey here, he’s one of the biggest riders in the world so we support him as much as we can. We have some nice cards to play in the next couple of days and I’m looking forward to this Tour of the Alps.”

Hackney-born Geoghegan Hart joined Team Sky in 2017 from Axeon Hagens Berman, the development team set up by Axel Merckx, before making a string of impressive performances in support of team-mates earning him his first grand tour start at last year’s Vuelta a España.

The 24-year-old will start next month’s Giro d’Italia where he will ride in support of team-mate Egan Bernal’s general classification ambitions.

The five-day Tour of the Alps continues on Tuesday and after passing over to Italy concludes on Friday with a mountainous 148.7km stage to Bolzano.