Bernal digs deep as Tao climbs California GC

16 May 2018

Bernal digs deep as Tao climbs California GC

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Egan Bernal put in a spirited time trial at the Tour of California to sit second overall, while Tao Geoghegan Hart vaulted up the general classification.

Stage four provided a stern test with a 34.7-kilometre TT against the clock. Geoghegan Hart produced one of the best rides of his young career to place third on the day, just 32 seconds back on stage winner and new race leader Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing).
That result saw the young Brit leap up to fourth overall, 52 seconds off the lead with three stages to go. Bernal rode hard to limit his losses in Morgan Hill, setting the 18th best time, but importantly remaining firmly in the mix for the general classification.
The Colombian sits just 23 seconds off the lead, with both he and Geoghegan Hart relishing the opportunity to get back to the climbs. Despite dropping to second, Bernal still holds the lead in the sprint, mountains and young rider classifications.
Pavel Sivakov was another young talent to put in an impressive ride with 16th place.

Tao Geoghegan Hart

Tao Geoghegan Hart

I think we're going to have to put it all on the line to win this race with Egan and that's my priority.
After the stage Geoghegan Hart was happy to reflect on his best time trial result to date.

"It's maybe my best result full stop," he told "I think after I did the recon I thought it might be a reasonably good course for me, because there was more climbing than we perhaps thought there would be. But I definitely didn't expect this.

"I knew I was doing a decent ride. When I went through the time split at half way - it was on a downhill. Oli [Cookson, Sport Director] told me the gap and I didn't quite hear what number he said, but it sounded like a single digit rather than 18 or 30 like I'm normally hearing in time trials.

"I took that as motivation and I could see that the speed I was going was really good. I just tried to do my best ride possible and I'm really happy with third place."

With Geoghegan Hart and Bernal now both placed well in the GC, the Brit added that the team's overall objective remains the same following the TT.

"I think we're going to have to put it all on the line to win this race with Egan and that's my priority. It was my priority coming here and Egan and I have been talking about that since Volta Catalunya. That remains the big goal - to arrive in Sacramento with him in the yellow jersey."

Stage four result:

1. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) 40:47
2. Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing) +7"
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) +32"
4. Lawson Craddock (EF Education First-Drapac) +46"
5. Filippo Ganna (UAE-Team Emirates) +49"
16. Pavel Sivakov (Team Sky) +1:16"
18. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +1:23"

Overall standings:

1. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) 12:50:55
2. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +23"
3. Daniel Martinez (EF Education First-Drapac) +37"
4. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) +52"
5. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +1:07"

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