Tao impresses on Valencia queen stage

08 Feb 2020

Tao impresses on Valencia queen stage

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Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana - Stage four: Calp - Altea (Sierra de Bernia), 170km

Tao Geoghegan Hart put in a strong ride on the punishing slopes of the Sierra de Bernia, taking third place on stage four in Spain.

The Brit found himself in a select group of contenders on the steep final climb. With Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) launching his stage-winning move early with three kilometres to go, Geoghegan Hart battled the gradients before finishing strongly on the wheel of Wout Poels (Bahrain McLaren). 

With no time bonuses, the pair finished six seconds back on new leader Pogacar, with Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) and the yellow jersey of Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) also finishing with the same time.

That ensured that Geoghegan Hart elevated himself to third place overall, level on time with second-placed Haig, and six seconds off the lead with one day to go.

Tao was well supported by his teammates on the day, with Ben Swift setting an impressive pace on the early slopes of the climb, with Michal Kwiatkowski also present before the attacks launched. Gianni Moscon dug deep for a strong 14th position on the stage.
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- Nicolas Portal

"It's a huge result when you consider the parcours, with almost 4000 metres of climbing, then you finish on this crazy monster of a climb. It's really, really hard and steep in the last 3km. Also you have some top names in this race and it's a really good result for Tao. It's going to be a big boost to him. He's quite far from his best condition, as this race wasn't a specific objective for him. But that just confirms that he's had a really good winter. He's relaxed and the team really supported him. 

"It's likely to be a bunch sprint tomorrow. Today we saw Jumbo-Visma were waiting for their leaders. We'd expect them to go for it tomorrow, control the race and try to win it. That suits us. Tao is on the same time as Jack Haig. In terms of placings Haig is a little bit ahead - so it will be tough to improve - but a second or third place would be a really nice way to start the season. There's no time bonuses so we're hoping for a nice safe finish."
Stage four result:

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 4:22:03
2. Wout Poels (Bahrain McLaren) +6"
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team INEOS) s.t.
4. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation)
5. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)

Overall standings:

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 16:38:28
2. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)  +6"
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team INEOS) s.t.
4. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +13"
5. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain McLaren) +23"
11. Gianni Moscon (Team INEOS) +1:19"

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