"It was the first road stage and it's never easy, especially in a Grand Tour, to get everyone riding together," explained Ineos sports director Nicolas Portal on the team's website.
"They're used to it, but in a Grand Tour, you have 180 riders with a big bunch, where the tension is higher."
Twenty-four-year-old Geoghegan Hart rode himself into the top 10 on the opening-stage time trial at the Giro on Saturday. The team lost their GC contender, Egan Bernal, a week before the start of the race, when the Colombian climber broke his collarbone in a training crash.
It left a young and relatively inexperienced Giro squad with no real leader. Instead, Geoghegan Hart and 21-year-old Russian teammate Pavel Sivakov have been tasked with animating the race when they can – with the mountains a likely focus – while enjoying themselves and learning from the experience.
Both rode near the front of the peloton on the run-in to Fucecchio, keeping themselves out of trouble as the team have often done in recent Grand Tours with their more high-profile leaders. They finished side-by-side in 34th and 35th place, with Geoghegan Hart remaining seventh overall and Sivakov moving up two places to 26th at 1:01.
"The goal was to try to keep our GC position, to be in control and not to expend energy for no reason," said Portal. "At the same time, we wanted to use the stage to start to work well together and create a good dynamic within the team. The boys did well."
The race continues on Monday with the 220km third stage from Vinci to Orbetello, which should again be one for the sprinters.
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