MILAN : Tao Geoghegan Hart, who once played truant to see Sky's launch, on Sunday became the renamed team's latest major tour winner when he seized his opportunity in the closing time trial of the Giro d'Italia.

On Sunday last, after his triumph, he insisted the coffee would still smell the same. 

''I'm going to stay the same person,'' he said. ''Wake up every day looking forward to riding my bike, loving my life and being grateful for the amazing position, the privilege, that I'm in to be in this team and and at these races.''

The son of a builder, and the eldest of five siblings, Geoghan Hart tried team sports such as Football.

At 12, was the youngest member of a six-person relay team from a local club that swam the English Channel.

''He came to us through soccer and swimming, he liked the idea of cycling because he was fed up of other people letting him down, and cycling is a sport where it's largely down to the individual,'' Hackney Cycling Club coach Keir Apperley told The Guardian.

Geoghan Hart worked on Saturdays at a well known London bike shop Condor, which also supported his racings.

''You knew there was something special about him even then, he was super motivated and focused,'' Greg Needham of Condor told the Guardian.

When Geoghegan Hart became a full-time cyclist, he rode for a development team run by former Belgian rider Alex Meckx, a great talent breeder.

He joined Sky in 2017 as a trainee. He moved to Girona in Spain, a popular base for cyclists.

In 2018, he rode his first big tour, the Vuelta. Last year, he was part of the victorious Inecos team at the Giro but crashed and broke a collarbone on the 13th stage.

Even so, he developed a taste for the race.

''I really liked the Giro'', he said earlier this year. ''There are a lot more opportunities than in Tour de France.''

The opportunity arrived this year. Geohegan Hart grabbed it. [AFP]


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