The British team has won the race six times since 2010 and despite a competitive field that includes the ever-consistent Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and last year’s winner Max Schachmann, the squad will be looking to compete throughout the eight-day‘ race to the sun’.
"It still feels a bit like the first race of my season, but that’s exciting,” Tao Geoghegan Hart said ahead of Sunday’s first stage in Saint-Cyr-L’École near Paris.
Geoghegan Hart was part of Egan Bernal’s winning team in 2019, when the Colombian combined his climbing attributes with new-found steel when it came to racing in the crosswinds. For any potential winner, the same approach will be necessary, especially in a race that is often affected by poor weather in the opening few days.
“I have really great memories of this race from 2019, when Egan won. Of course, it’s going to be hard to emulate that but we come in with a super, super strong, and balanced team and we’re all excited for the eight days to come - it’s such a prestigious race with a lot of history,” Geoghegan Hart said.
The British rider opened his season with a creditable 10th overall in Haut Var in February, and he finished second on the all-important final stage when the race split to pieces.
That form, as well as his growing confidence, will be used to keep the GC challenge at the forefront of his mind as the race heads south and develops with the 13km time trial on stage 3 coming before more serious tests in the mountains.
“I want to try and be up there in the mix. Haut Var, my first race, was a good first step this season and I feel like I’ve progressed since then in training," he said.
"The first TT of the year will be interesting and with myself, Richie, Rohan of course for the time trial as well, and with the team, we have here I think we can be competitive every day. It’s a race of two or even three parts but we’ll be looking to get involved every day."
Cyclingnews will be bringing you full reports, results, news, interviews, and analysis throughout the race.
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