After a superb time trial performance that secured his maiden victory in a Grand Tour, Briton Tao Geoghegan Hart became the fifth British winner after victory in the Giro d’Italia
The 25-year-old started the Giro d'Italia and as a support rider to Ineos Grenadiers' Geraint Thomas, only for his pre-race favourite teammate to crash out in the third stage.
Along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, the Giro is one of cycling's most prestigious events and, in winning it, Geoghegan Hart becomes the fifth British man to win a Grand Tour race and the second after Chris Froome to win the Giro.
He was part of the British Cycling development program before signing for Axeon Hagens Berman in 2014, an American Continental team of Under-23 riders managed by former professional cyclist Axel Merckx. He joined Ineos, then known as Team Sky, in 2017, supporting the likes of Thomas, Chris Froome and Egan Bernal, all former Grand Tour champions.
"All of my career I have dreamt of being top 10 or top five in a race like this”, the champion said. “During the ITT (individual time trial) my DS (directeur sportif) told me I was faster than Jai Hindley," he added.
Level with Team Sunweb's Jai Hindley ahead of the final day's individual time trial -- the first time in Grand Tour history that two riders had been tied going into the last stage -- he finished 39 seconds ahead of Hindley over the 15.7km course into Milan to capture the pink jersey.
"It's incredible. It was impossible for me to even think about winning the Giro when we started in Sicily," Geoghegan Hart said after the race.
There was more joy for Ineos as Filippo Ganna won the final stage in a time of 17:16, the Italian's fourth stage victory of the campaign and the team's seventh. Australian Hindley finished second in the overall standings ahead of teammate Wilco Kelderman.