Tao Geoghegan Hart sets sights on spot in Team Sky's Giro d'Italia squad in 2018

22-year-old hopes for Grand Tour selection next season

Tao Geoghegan Hart at Team Sky's pre-season training camp
(Image credit: Daniel Gould)

Tao Geoghegan Hart says that he hopes to find a place in Team Sky's squad for the 2018 Giro d'Italia as he looks to build on his experiences from his first year as a professional rider.

In a blog on the Team Sky website reflecting on his 2017 season and looking ahead to the future, the 22-year-old says that he is hoping to ride his first Grand Tour next year, but admits it will be a step into the unknown.

"I’d like to ride a Grand Tour [in 2018]," Geoghegan Hart wrote. "We will see when race programmes are decided, but I’d like to aim for the Giro.

"It’s still quite an aspirational goal, and the feeling I get is whenever it’s your first one, it’s difficult to get in just because you are such an unknown quantity after 10 days. But one of my goals this year was to show I can consistently deliver, not have bad days, and that’s also a part of being a GC rider."

>>> The rise of Tao Geoghegan Hart: British prodigy's long road to Team Sky

Looking back on a successful first year with the team, Geoghegan Hart said that his high-point of the year had come in his first top-level race, but that he had gained valuable experiences throughout the season.

"[The best moment was] crossing the line at Strade Bianche to discover that Kwiato [Michal Kwiatkowski] had won," the young rider from Hackney continued.

"It was my first WorldTour race so I was pretty nervous before it and didn’t know what to expect - especially with that race. That was pretty cool.

"But on the whole I enjoyed a lot of new races - the whole season really. My aim was to be able to do my job throughout the year while being ready for any opportunities that might arise through the year - you never know when that could be.

"I wasn’t down to do the Tour de Suisse and ended up doing that, and had an opportunity to race a bit there alongside Mikel Nieve. It was similar with the Tour of California. It was about being ready to grasp those opportunities when they came, while doing my job across the year. That was my primary role."

Watch: Tour de France 2018 route guide

As well as working for others, Geoghegan Hart was able to gain leadership experience, such as on the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire where he found some of Team Sky's biggest names at his disposal as domestiques, helping him to fifth on the stage and eighth overall.

"I was going into Yorkshire as the only climber there, so on the last day all those guys [Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard] were supporting me.

"They said it how it is - if I made a mistake during the stage they just told me. At one point I casually stopped for a nature break and Luke said, ‘Come on, say you’re going to do it, we’re going to support you 100%’, and as a young guy four months into my first season, it was hard for me to get my head round them working for me.

"They said it how it was and you need that sometimes to make that step forward. Plus, you remember it when someone says it straight up. Perhaps if people were a bit softer you’d do it 10 times before you rectified the mistake."

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