Tao Geoghegan Hart aims to make his Tour debut in 2021
After winning the Giro d’Italia in 2020, Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) is aiming to make his first ever start at the Tour de France this season.
The 25-year-old Briton mapped out his plans for 2021, which include targeting the Tour over the Giro, in an interview with The Telegraph.
“I was pretty much 50-50 [between targeting the Giro and the Tour] because I think both would be really exciting,” Geoghegan Hart told The Telegraph. “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 No 1 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.”
Geoghegan Hart will still need to be officially selected to the Ineos squad, and that likely won’t happen for several months yet. Should he make the Tour lineup, it’s also not yet clear what his role would be for a team that counts multiple other Grand Tour winners on the roster.
“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 [Criterium du] Dauphine in June but even just at the start of the race, that’s what will decide [leadership].”
After what he hopes will be a Tour start, Geoghegan Hart has his eye on the Olympics in Tokyo. That too will require a selection, and with the British team only sending four riders to the men’s events, competition will be fierce.
“I’d love to be there. I think even if we are only four riders and other nations have an extra rider, we have potentially such a strong, strong team.
“We actually managed to get together in December for 24 hours of meetings and some equipment prep and stuff, which was great, up in Manchester. There’s 10 or so guys up for the four spots that we have. And there’s obviously incredible strength in depth in that group. I think there’s three grand tour winners, plus obviously Hugh [Carthy] who was on the Vuelta podium last year.”
For now, Geoghegan Hart is focused on getting his season going. According to The Telegraph, the plan is to start his 2021 campaign at the Tour de la Provence as he ramps up to bigger races like Paris-Nice. As Geoghegan Hart acknowledged, however, there’s little certainty around anything on the calendar at the moment.
“It’s all good and well sitting now in January-February talking about July,” he said. “But that’s a long way away. There’s a lot could happen between now and then.”