In the latest edition of his diary, Tao Geoghegan Hart takes you inside his preparations for Tour of California and describes the scene as he played a decisive role in helping Egan Bernal take the leader's jersey on stage two.
It is warm today, especially now as I ride upward. I have just finished the last effort of my camp, 25 minutes of suffering, all aimed at going that little faster on one of next week’s many climbs. I gasp for air, the small screen attached to my handlebars reminding me that I am at almost 2000 metres above sea level. My eyes sting from the potent combination of sweat and suncream and my mouth is dry, but suddenly everything seems to glow a little in the warm afternoon sunlight. I could not be more content in this moment, everything I have left out there on the road.
I am all alone. I pull over to the roadside to take a moment before descending down, removing a jacket out from one pocket and my phone from another. I contemplate the journey so far and the ride back home. I still have some way to go, but it will pass quickly with the feeling of accomplishment that I am already floating upon. I am pleased with the effort. I am pleased with the past weeks. I am excited for the next ones.
A solitary car passes by, eyes following me intensely as the vehicle snakes its way around the corner. I can’t help but think they must wonder why. It is hard enough for the average person to walk up here, let alone ride a bike. I picture what they see, a slender figure, stood panting and dripping in sweat, the long day written across my face. You could say that imagine is the goal of today. You could say I would be disappointed if I didn’t look this way.
As I ride home I notice I am holding onto my bars a little tighter, approaching each junction, downhill and corner with a little added caution and looking over my shoulder a little more. Everything has gone so well the last fifteen days that the last thing I want is for it to go wrong at the very last minute. Egan and I first spoke about trying to win this race in early March. It is now May and it is time to go...
Tao Geoghegan Hart
Egan and I first spoke about trying to win this race in early March. It is now May and it's time to go...