Tao powers to queen stage victory

04 Feb 2023

Tao powers to queen stage victory

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage 4: Burriana › Alto de la Cueva Santa, 181.6km.

Tao Geoghegan Hart stormed to an impressive victory in an uphill sprint to move second overall at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

Geoghegan Hart rounded off a fine team performance, attacking after a lead-out from Carlos Rodriguez to secure his first win of the season. 

The result puts him second overall, four seconds behind race leader Giulio Ciccone (Trek - Segafredo) heading into Sunday's final stage. 
Thymen Arensman played a key role in Geoghegan Hart's victory

Thymen Arensman played a key role in Geoghegan Hart's victory

To kick the stage off on the front foot, Omar Fraile and Thymen Arensman were able to join a 23-rider break that escaped the peloton in the early stages. This eased the pressure behind on Geoghegan Hart and Carlos Rodriguez, who were able to stay in the peloton as the escapees' lead grew to over three minutes. 

As the stage progressed, the pace remained high in the lead group, causing riders to drop back to the bunch. Arensman saw his opportunity and attacked from the dwindling group, stretching his lead over the peloton to over two minutes at its height. 

A concerted effort from two chasing teams brought a spirited Arensman back at the foot of the final climb, with the Grenadiers in the wheels and ready to push the pace. 

Salvatore Puccio helped position the team heading into the final ascent, after Fraile had brought Geoghegan Hart back to the group following a puncture with 15 kilometres remaining. 

As the gradient increased, the Grenadiers hit the front, with Fraile, Jonathan Castroviejo, Laurens de Plus and finally Rodriguez, setting a hard pace which nobody could match. 

He led out Geoghegan hart, who timed his sprint to perfection to seal victory and put himself in an excellent position overall heading into the final stage. 


Tao Geoghegan Hart

"We wanted to have someone in the break, it was a nice opportunity for Thymen to try something and wow, he must have been flying as for a long time the gap to the peloton didn’t change at all.  It was nice for him to have chance, and he had Omar up there with him which was perfect. We could sit back all day and the boys were really good on the last climb. 

"Salva put us in position after I had a puncture with 15km to go which wasn’t ideal but I was calm, I had to wait and be patience and Omar took me back through. It wasn’t an easy final but they did the perfect job. Conditions weren't ideal as there was a headwind and it wasn’t too steep it would have been nice to try something earlier, but in those conditions we were going at least 30 kilometres per hour or maybe more. 

"This win means the world to me, it’s really hard to win bike races! The level at this race is really high, like it has been at the start of the last two or three seasons. I’m happy to have done such a good performance. A lot of love goes out to my friends and family who know how much bad luck I've had over the last few years and some difficult moments, but I’m really happy.” 

"You have to be grateful for every small thing. Being sick and having crashes in the past couple of years reminds you of that, I had a really good winter. A big shout to my new coach Dajo, who has been really supportive in the past couple of months and has made a big difference for me. My girlfriend, Lotte and all my family.  

"I’m a bit disappointed as my brother told me to do a good celebration if I won. It wasn’t really the best finish for that, so maybe next time!"