Losing Tao Geoghegan Hart from Giro d’Italia will affect Team Ineos cohesion, say Nicolas Portal

The British rider leaves the Giro after breaking his collarbone in a crash on stage 13

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Losing Tao Geoghegan Hart to a crash in Giro d’Italia stage 13 will affect the team cohesion going forward, says Team Ineos.

The Londoner in his first Giro, crashed after making the day’s escape. Results later showed he broke his collarbone.

“He fell pretty heavy, we heard he was OK, but expecting something from regarding his shoulder,” sports director Nicolas Portal told Cycling Weekly.

>>> Five talking points from stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia 2019

“They were straight to the closest hospital, but don’t know any more information. He was conscious but he could not go on the bike.”

Geoghegan Hart leaves the Giro d’Italia the day that Pavel Sivakov rode with race favourites including Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) on the first summit finish to Lago Serrù.

With his move, Sivakov now leads the young rider competition in the white jersey and sits 4-48 minutes behind top favourite Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

“It’s not nice when you have a strong rider like Tao to not support Pavel, that can be hard, and for the cohesion,” added Portal.

Tao Geoghegan Hart crashes on stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia 2019 (Photo by Luk Benies/AFP/Getty)

“It was a good strong group, but now it’s going to be different.”

Sivakov came to the Giro d’Italia after winning the Tour of the Alps with Geoghegan Hart helping. He finished second overall and won two stages for himself.

They were the two leaders of Team Ineos after Egan Bernal cancelled his participation after breaking his collarbone one week out. Now, Sivakov will have to carry the torch.

“He impressed a lot today, we were close to 5,000 metres climbing, all day was fast, first two climbs was super hard, he did a fantastic ride always on pace, not to spike too much, he was concentrated and that showed in the end,” Portal said.

“Today we saw something very special from Pavel. We don’t have a specific plan. We want to support as long and hard as we can.”

Sivakov’s ride came a day after Eddie Dunbar nearly won a stage in Pinerolo.

“They have a great future, that’s why we are here. That’s nice that they show this to all the world,” added Portal.

“This group is really young, we’ve been holding them back, telling them to think about the second week, the third week. Now they can see, ‘Oh it is really a different kind of Giro.'”