Tao Geoghegan Hart says Tour of the Alps twisty stage two finale was 'on the limit'

Despite snatching a second stage victory in two days, Ineos rider highlights problems presented during run in which caused Felix Gall (AG2R Citroën) to crash

Tao Geoghegan Hart
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On stage two of the Tour of the Alps Tao Geoghegan Hart doubled his victory tally from this year's race, winning the sprint from a reduced group to grab a stage victory in the leader's jersey in Ritten. 

However, as he came across the line, the Ineos rider banged his bars in frustration at what he later highlighted as a problematic course finale. 

As they hit the summit of the final climb, the riders faced a rapid, downhill finish into the Ritten Arena. Prior to entering the finishing straight, Felix Gall of AG2R Citroën moved up on the outside of the group, before crashing as the riders entered a tight, narrow sweeping bend in a roundabout.

Geoghegan Hart then managed to outsprint the Bahrain Victorious duo of Jack Haig and Santiago Buitrago to grab another victory after already winning the opener in Alpbach, further strengthening his grip on the overall lead in the process, but was unhappy with the tight twisty course finale.

Geoghegan Hart said: “If the winner of the race pedals maybe 80 metres in the last 300, I’m not sure that’s typical for a bike race to be honest.

“For me it wasn’t really the correct last 300 metres. I didn’t really want to say that to be honest, but at the end of the day there’s also not many people that are prepared to put their head out there… To see Felix Gall crash there in that corner just to try and make a normal sprint was a bit on the limit.”

“I really like this race, I really like the organiser but I wasn’t really a fan of that final. If it had been wet on that concrete last 300, I don’t know, for me it was too much.”

The race leader looked to quickly clarify that his frustration was not at the movement of any other riders in the run in, particularly Haig.

“I don’t want to see any colleagues in this race crash,” he added. “A lot of guys are preparing for their coming big goals, and also this is a really nice race… We could have also finished on the other lovely road, it’s a beautiful day.

"I understand doing something different, but it needs to be in the right way. For me, it was a little bit too much today.”

Tao Geoghegan Hart

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reflecting on the day's proceedings, Geoghegan Hart was full of praise yet again for the work of his Ineos teammates.

After controlling the breakaway of three riders including EF Education EasyPost’s Simon Carr, the Ineos-led peloton finally reeled in Carr - the last man standing- as the final climb began.  

“We knew the roads from past editions of this race. There was a bit of a headwind on the Brenner pass… We just rode our tempo on the final climb as we were pretty happy to try to have as many of us as possible on the final climb,” he said. 

“In the end Thymen [Arensman] did a really great pull, and then Laurens [De Plus]. Then as you’ve seen Pavel [Sivakov] did a really great job in those last few kilometres also.”

Looking ahead to stage three’s tough summit finish at Brentonico San Valentino, the Londoner said that he was “looking forward” to the final climb which is longer than today's.

“I told my girlfriend last night on FaceTime that it was an easy stage today, and then I checked the parcours and it was not looking so easy to be honest,” he added. 

“I don’t like to look too much in the future, but I think it will be a really different effort... I think it’s really important these next three days for testing the condition for the future. We’ll take each day as it comes, we’re in a privileged position to have myself and Pavel [Sivakov] in the front, and a super strong team.”

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.