Rising British talent Tao Geoghegan Hart is hoping to take his career to a new level when he rides the 2019 Giro d’Italia.
The 23-year-old showed his ability last season, supporting team-mates Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas to stage race victory and riding his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España.
Geoghegan Hart will support young Colombian superstar Egan Bernal, as the 21-year-old chases victory in Italy in only his second WorldTour season.
Hackney-born Geoghegan Hart said: “I’ve definitely got my eyes set on the Giro for 2019.
“I think it’s a good natural progression after the Vuelta last season.
“The second year with the team was definitely progression from the first, which was my aim coming into the year.
“I’ve always looked to do that year-upon-year and I think it’s natural for a young rider, even though I’m starting to edge out away from that category.”
Geoghegan Hart’s 2018 saw the youngster ride strong to support Bernal to victory in both the Colombia Oro y Paz and the Tour of California.
He put in a phenomenal ride on stage six of the latter race, assisting his team-mate to a stage victory and the overall win, finishing fifth overall himself.
Then he returned to a key support role at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he helped Geraint Thomas win on general classification – Geoghegan Hart finished 13th.
Reflecting on 2018, he said: “The first part of the season was a little more positive than the second part but I’d say if anything there are far more lessons to be learnt from that second part.
“It encompassed my first Grand Tour.
“It’s a year to look back on very positively and fondly, which is important, and there’s lots to carry forward into this year – which I intend to do.”
The late season saw Geoghegan Hart ride the Vuelta a España, his first three week test, alongside Sky’s GC leader for that race Michal Kwiatkowski.
Geoghegan Hart said: “It was a very positive experience on the whole.
“From a results and performance perspective I was pretty disappointed with the race and that’s something I can be comfortable about being open with, because I think it’s important to not just always be too positive about everything and highlighting when stuff hasn’t gone right.
“It definitely took a few a few weeks or even a little bit longer to try and process that and boil down why that had happened.
“I’m really glad to have had it in my second year with the team.”
Geoghegan Hart and Bernal have built a close friendship in their first season riding together, with the duo likely to be a close pairing as Bernal’s career as a Grand Tour leader develops.
Finally, on his supporting role at the Dauphiné, Geoghegan Hart said: “For me it was really special racing the Dauphiné, especially with what [Geraint Thomas] went on to do the month after that [winning the Tour de France].
“I was pretty nervous for the first three or four days of the race, even on the bike, feeling stiffer and less fluid than I normally would just from the sense of occasion, and being with the ‘A team’ a few weeks out from their big goal of the season.
“To be around those guys, not only in a huge race, but also in anticipation of an even bigger goal, was great experience.”