INEOS Grenadiers Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford has hailed the performance of the team as a new style of racing paid off at the Giro d'Italia.
After Chris Froome, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, Geoghegan Hart becomes the fourth Brit to win a Grand Tour for the team.
For Brailsford, seeing the 25 year old come of age provided a fantastic bookend to a journey that began with the team being launched back in 2010.
On his reaction to Tao's victory, Brailsford admitted: "I burst into tears basically. When we first started the team, Tao bunked off school and came along to watch Brad and the guys when they launched the team. He rode behind Brad, and it’s a story he likes to tell. All of a sudden he was in the team, and all of a sudden he’s in this position. You couldn’t make it up. It’s the stuff of dreams, it really is.
Sir Dave Brailsford
It’s as much about the style of racing, how we go about racing and it’s about the racers.
He added: "What I really, really liked about this was the way that everybody rode. I’m really disappointed for Geraint – that was devastating. I think Filippo (Ganna) set the tone, in the world’s jersey, first time out and got the pink jersey. Obviously it was devastating when Geraint crashed out. But for Filippo to win that road stage the way he did, that was immense, and it filled everybody with confidence. We thought, let’s get out there and race. Tao – you stay on GC and look after yourself. Anybody who gets in the break get in the break, and anyone who doesn’t look after Tao. And that’s what they’ve done and they’ve just smashed it.”
“I came to this sport when I was a young guy because I loved racing, it attracted me to the sport as it was all about racing,” he told Eurosport.
“In the past 10 years we’ve won a lot, but as you get older you wonder what it’s all about. It’s as much about the style of racing, how we go about racing and it’s about the racers.
“It’s about Rohan Dennis’ story, or Tao, from London, went to see Bradley when we launched Team Sky and here he is now, doing this.
“He idolised Bradley and it kind of all connects, so my emotion is one of pure enjoyment, really, really relishing the new philosophy that the sport’s got at the minute and we’ve got to embrace that and go out and see how good we can be at racing.”