Walking down Regent Street in the centre of London on Tuesday, Tao Geoghegan Hart strolls to the front of the 2,000-square-foot Pinarello retail store, where he thinks he will be doing a Q&A for his Ineos Grenadiers team. Pausing in front of the store entrance for a photo, he does not notice what shoppers strolling by saw in the display window – a new, pink, limited-edition Pinarello Dogma F12.
The recently-crowned Giro d’Italia champion placed a mask on his face and walked casually into the store, where he is greeted by a Pinarello representative saying, “Welcome. We have something for you. Something you might quite like to see.”
A video of Geoghegan Hart accepting the custom bike was posted by Ineos Grenadiers’ social media channels, capturing true surprise from the 25-year-old Briton.
“Oh wow. Ain’t that a good surprise,” Geoghegan Hart said with a laugh, pointing to the pink bike inside the showroom. “Hey, do you know what? This is the most-asked question I’ve had this week. The public care more about this [bike] than anything else. Oh, that’s mega.”
The pink Pinarello was adorned with his 165 race number attached to the seat post, and a personalized message, “Grazie Tao!” written on the frame by Fausto Pinarello, executive chairman of the premium road bicycle brand that bears his family’s name. The next surprise was a call with the chairman himself, who’s company has provided road bikes to the Ineos team since 2009 when it was Team Sky.
“Thank you for the surprise today, Fausto. I didn’t have any idea. It’s really cool, super,” Geoghegan Hart said using a speakerphone to connect with Pinarello. “Now I’ve got a reason to get back on the bike. I haven’t been on the bike since Milan. So, now I have a good excuse.”
On the final day of racing at the Giro, Geoghegan Hart was locked on time in the GC lead with Jai Hindley of Team Sunweb. The Ineos rider then gained 39 seconds in the closing time trial over the Australian and secured the overall victory in Milan, for his first Grand Tour title.
“I didn’t know at all this was going to happen. It’s lovely. Especially, just now I think, chatting with Fausto just there,” he said. “All the little details, yeah it’s super special to have something to remember the race by because even two weeks has gone by and feels like a long time ago already.
“Since I’ve been home, it’s super nice when people have said how much they enjoyed the race, and how exciting it was and fun, and how they watched the last three stages minute by minute.
“For me, it means so much because it’s what this represents, that’s what cycling should be about, is being exciting and people loving it and it going down to the wire. And this is an extension of that. It’s nice to get it in London, in an Italian shop, an Italian bike. The blue skies are out, the bike looks great in the light. It’s pretty cool.”
Just before entering the store, Geoghegan Hart revealed that with just a few days remaining at the Giro he did not expect to win the race. In fact, after stage 17 he was in fourth place in GC, 2:59 behind race leader João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
“Did you hear about the bet that I made with my own brother? This cost me a car, winning the Giro. Stage 15, I bet him that there’s no chance I’m going to win this, don’t be ridiculous. I’ll buy you a new car if I win. And yeah.”
Not sure how the wager was fulfilled, and hopefully the new bike is not part of the deal.
😱😱😱 GRAZIE tutti @Pinarello_com !! 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕 such a lovely surprise x https://t.co/n0Bkx9gx6iNovember 10, 2020
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