Tao Geoghegan Hart is set to make his Tour de France debut in 2021, choosing to opt against a defence a defence of his Giro d’Italia title to instead fight for the GC in France in July. The Ineos Grenadiers rider will also take aim at the Tokyo Olympics road race, which comes just six days after the Tour finale in Paris.
The Tour will be the fifth Grand Tour of Geoghegan Hart’s career, coming after two participations apiece at the Giro and Vuelta a España. The 25-year-old was a surprise winner in Italy last October, beating Team Sunweb’s Jai Hindley by 39 seconds in Milan.
Geoghegan Hart told The Telegraph that it was a tough decision for him to choose between the Tour and the Giro, but said that it was time to target something new.
“It was pretty much 50-50 because I think both would be really exciting,” he said. “I love racing in Italy. I loved the experience of the Giro. And of course, it would be incredible to go back there this year with the number one jersey. I understand the significance of that. But I think as a bike racer, to put it bluntly, you can’t see the number on your back.
“Ultimately, I felt it I wanted to target something new and different. And yeah, the biggest race in cycling. I think there’s no argument there.”
It remains to be seen whether Geoghegan Hart will be handed a leadership or co-leadership role at the Tour by team boss Dave Brailsford.
Geoghegan Hart is expected to form part of a strong Ineos Grenadiers squad in France, with 2018 and 2019 champions Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal also in the frame for a leadership spot, while 2019 Giro winner Richard Carapaz and the returning Richie Porte could also make the Tour team.
“We haven’t had that conversation,” Geoghegan Hart said. “And to be honest it’s not really a conversation I’m too interested in either.
“I think at the end of the day, the legs that you show, probably coming out of the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, but even just at the start of the race, that’s what will decide.”
More to come…