Tao Geoghegan Hart dedicates Giro d’Italia stage win to Nicolas Portal

Ineos Grenadiers have been mourning the loss of their sports director, who passed away earlier in 2020 

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Tao Geoghegan Hart dedicated his first ever Grand Tour stage to Nicolas Portal, who passed away earlier this year.

Ineos Grenadiers have had to come to terms the sudden and unexpected loss of their long-standing sports director Portal, who died after suffering a heart attack in March.

British rider Geoghegan Hart took his biggest career win on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia in Piancavallo, outsprinting pink jersey favourite Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb), and paid tribute to Portal at the finish.

The 25-year-old said: “Everyone knows what a great influence Nico Portal had on the team and for me in particular.

“Everyday we ride, we are remembering him.” 

Ineos Grenadiers have been the dominant stage-winning force in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, taking five of the 15 stages so far with three different riders. 

The squad have won both time trials with Italian star Filippo Ganna, while Ganna and Jhonatan Narváez have both one road stages, and Geoghegan Hart’s mountain summit victory means the team have won a third of the stages on offer. 

But the team were forced to reset after they their GC leader Geraint Thomas crashed out on stage three. 

Geoghegan Hart said: “I can't believe it, we have had a really tough Giro to date after losing Geraint Thomas, but this team is extraordinary and we are all showing what we're capable of stage by stage.” 

Stage 15 was also the first time the GC race exploded in this year’s Giro, as Kelderman emerged as the strongest on the final climb and very nearly took the pink jersey from Deceuninck - Quick-Step’s Joao Almeida. 

After losing time Almeida, who is now just 15 seconds ahead of Kelderman, said: “It was a very hard stage, the three riders on the front on the final climb were too fast for me. I know my body and my limits, so I had to drop back. I'm happy to have managed to save the maglia rosa, once again thanks to my team.”  

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.