Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Ineos) rode to an impressive third place on stage 15 of the Vuelta a España on Sunday, but the British climber admitted afterwards that he'd needed to be even more aggressive to try to beat eventual stage winner Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma).
Geoghegan Hart was part of the day's main 17-rider move, which also included his Ineos teammate Vasil Kiryienka, who similarly rode strongly all day.
"I was feeling okay out there. It was really nice to have 'Kiry' alongside me in the break, and we had a clear plan of how the stage would go," Geoghegan Hart said on the Team Ineos website.
Kuss went clear on the final climb up to the finish at Santuario del Acebo with just under seven kilometres to go, and while Geoghegan Hart took up the mantle to give chase, the American still had a 30-second advantage with three kilometres to go.
"In hindsight, I would have raced the last climb differently, as we lost a lot of ground in the middle flat section of the climb, when there was a group of five or six of us still behind Sepp," explained Geoghegan Hart, who's riding his second Grand Tour of the season after crashing out of the Giro d'Italia in May.
The 24-year-old third-year pro did everything he could to close the gap in the final few kilometres, but it was too little, too late, and Geoghegan Hart was then overhauled by Katusha-Alpecin's Ruben Gurreiro in the sprint for second place, finishing 40 seconds down on Kuss.
"I should have been more aggressive and gone with the moves at the base of the climb," admitted Geoghegan Hart. "But that's bike racing; hindsight is a great thing. I'll keep trying over the next week."
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