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'The body’s doing really well' – Geoghegan Hart upbeat after Volta ao Algarve return

Seventh at the Alto do Foia and seventh at the Alto do Malhao – Tao Geoghegan Hart completed his first race in nine months with identical placings on the two summit finishes that featured in this year’s Volta ao Algarve and also a largely positive view of how he is bouncing back from his terrible accident on stage 11 of the 2023 Giro d’Italia.

The Lidl-Trek racer delivered a very similar interpretation to his performance on both climbs in the Algarve, saying on the Alto do Foia sumit that “I just missed a little bit in the final 500 metres to 200 metres to have the gas to really go” and that at Malhao “I’m still missing that real big acceleration.”

But as he prepared to head for some recovery time on Sunday evening, Geoghegan Hart also added that he was “feeling better than in the last two days.” Given how hard the final stage of the Volta ao Algarve proved to be, with a ferocious attack by Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease A Bike) threatening to blow the race apart, that must have been satisfying.

“It was the usual end to stage races these days, everyone throws caution to the wind even more than normal,” Geoghegan Hart told a small group of reporters.

“It took 65 or 70 kilometres for the break to form, then one of the best riders in the world [Van Aert] tried to kick it off with, whatever it was 50 kilometres to go, with Ben [Healy-EF Education-Easy Post] trying to hold on behind him.”

“So that was more or less as you’d expect, teams chasing altogether, up and down all day, steep little climbs, hard climbs, all the way through.”

At the start of stage 5, too, even before he got into the thick of the action again and stayed with the lead favourites right up until the very last part of the climb, Geoghegan Hart had sounded distinctly upbeat about his progress in Portugal. 

“It’s been good, I’ve had positives and things to work on from the week, which is what you’d expect, so it’s good to be back racing,” he told Eurosport at the start in Faro. 

“For sure, after some recovery next week, with the racing I’ve had here, I’ll hopefully take another step in my condition.”

Asked if he felt he might still be suffering any fallout from the crash in Italy, where he broke his femur, Geoghegan Hart said, “No, the body’s doing really well so I’m super happy with that.” 

“The bigger picture starts tomorrow night [Monday] once I’m back home and looking at the next races.”

Geoghegan Hart’s next race will be Tirreno-Adriatico,  March 4-10, followed by the Volta a Catalunya, from March 18-24.

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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