Tao Geoghegan Hart shines in Paris-Roubaix Juniors
Event: Paris-Roubaix Juniors - UCI juniors Nations' Cup
When: 7 April 2013
Where: Roubaix, France
How it unfolded
“It was one of my worst races of the year but one of the biggest lessons of my life.” That’s how Tao Geoghegan Hart described his hell of the north in 2012.
Having crashed, Hart raced to reach the famous velodrome, only to have the gates slammed in his face.
Writing shortly afterward on his blog for Rapha, Hart’s mind rapidly focussed for his return the following year.
“In the end, Jon Dibben made the podium, third place in one of the biggest races of the calendar. I’d like to think I played a very small part in this and will take every ounce of last year’s experience into the morning of 7 April 2013.
“To quote Winston Churchill: 'If you’re going through hell, keep going.'”
Hart returned. Before the race he called Dibben for advice. Hours later he was part of a breakaway group competing for the win.
Finishing third after entering the velodrome with two others, Hart joined a very British history written by promising juniors visiting Roubaix, which has also witnessed breakout performances by Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Andy Fenn.
What they said
Hart: “To turn it on its head from last year was great. For short-term confidence Roubaix was good and for long-term confidence it reminds you that your hard work was going in the right direction.”
British Cycling Olympic Development Programme Endurance Coach Matt Winston said; “I’m really pleased with the team’s performance – the plan was always to be always up in the front of the bike race and making sure we were in the race all the time and covering stuff – which we did – so for the team it really showed in getting four riders up there in the result.
"Tao’s third place was a good ride by him – he got himself in the move and kind of went from there really. Overall a pleasing performance.”
Why should this be the British Cycling Ride of the Year 2013?
Returning from a crash the previous year, Hart never lost focus on his aim.
That the junior team – including coaches, support staff and mechanics - also performed to levels which would make the senior squad envious serves to highlight the achievement.