Tao Geoghegan Hart was no stranger to the Team Sky set up before signing a two-year deal for 2017 and 2018, having raced as a trainee with the British squad at the end of the 2015 season. So it's no surprise the 21-year-old is adjusting well to his new team and a new level of racing following three years on the Continental level with Axeon Hagens Berman.
Nevertheless, jumping from a development program to arguably the world's top team comes with a learning curve.
"For example, Challenge Mallorca was my first experience of ever having a team bus," Geoghegan Hart admitted in an interview published on Team Sky's website. "Things like that, you just really appreciate how nice it is to have a shower after the race and eat some good food straight away. Little things like that make a massive difference, and it’s been really enjoyable to step up."
Geoghegan Hart started his Team Sky tenure at the Challenge Mallorca in Spain, where he finished fourth at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntan that Tim Wellens won with a solo effort. From there Geoghegan Hart went to the Dubai Tour, where he rode in support of Elia Viviani's efforts.
"Other than the windy stage where it all kicked off a bit, it was the type of racing where everyone is pretty fresh coming into the final," Geoghegan Hart said. "There were a lot of sprint teams there, and the final 10km were pretty quick every day."
The fast, flat racing in Dubai provided a good tune up for Geoghegan Hart's next race at Portugal's Volta ao Algarve, which starts Wednesday in Albufeira.
"I think it was really good to get some racing miles in, especially with those fast finishes, so I could get that top end going," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting to Algarve and seeing how the legs are."
At Algarve, Geoghegan Hart will be supporting Michal Kwiatkowski's attempt to take Team Sky's third consecutive overall win after Geraint Thomas won it the past two years. Kwiatkowski won the race in 2014 while riding for Etixx-QuickStep.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how I go in Algarve - that will be a good test for this time of year," Geoghegan Hart said. "It'll be the first time trial of the year as well [on stage 3], so that will be pretty interesting. There's a lot of opportunities across the week to test the legs. Every day is quite a different test.
"I actually raced there in another event last March [GP Liberty Seguros], so I kind of have a little idea of what the roads are like and the type of terrain we'll be racing on. It's the type of racing that I really enjoy: up and down every day, interesting little finishes, small, steep climbs."
Team Sky roster for Volta ao Algarve: Michal Kwiatkowski, Michal Golas, Lukasz Wisniowski, Ian Boswell, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Philip Deignan Gianni Moscon, Salvatore Puccio.
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