Tao Geoghegan Hart is a British professional cyclist currently racing for Team Sky. 2017 is Geoghegan Hart’s first season on the British World Tour team that has won the Tour de France four times in the last five years. For the past three years Tao raced for the highly acclaimed under 23 Development team, Axeon Hagens Berman an American Continental team owned by ex-professional cyclist Axel Merckx.
Originally from Hackney in East London, Tao, the eldest of four siblings, mainly played football as a youngster. Shortly after joining secondary school in Stoke Newington, Tao began swimming. After a few years of competitive pool swimming, Tao was the youngest member of a yearlong project to swim the British Channel, culminating in two separate crossings by six Hackney teenagers, on the 28th of July 2008.
One of Tao’s first organised rides, also in the summer of 2008, was the Dunwich Dynamo, a 200km ride overnight from London Fields to Dunwich beach, on the Suffolk Coast. Shortly after, Tao joined Cycling Club Hackney, a newly formed organisation in East London. In 2009 he wandered into a busy bike shop in Central London, Condor Cycles, and asked for a Saturday job. This lead onto a two year period of working at the shop, and thereafter a sponsorship deal for bikes and equipment throughout Tao’s next few years as a junior.
Tao soon got the bug for road racing and in 2010 began competing nationally and soon after internationally. Once again venturing over the Channel, this time to Belgium, he received extensive guidance and help throughout the next four years from volunteers John Barclay and the late Alan Rosner, as they provided countless opportunities to accelerate his development on the mud-splattered roads of Flanders. Alongside Condor, Tao was also closely supported by another London company, Rapha Racing, over the following years.
In 2011 Tao joined the British Cycling under-16 development programme, working alongside coach Stuart Blunt and riding the track for the first time. The year culminated in Tao being selected for the European Youth Olympics and lead to two years on the ‘Olympic Development Programme’ for under-18’s. Now coached by Matthew Winston, Tao found success in 2012 as a Silver Medallist in the European Track Championships, before really finding his stride in 2013, winning the Tour of Istira, Giro Della Lunigiana and various British National Series races, alongside a podium at the prestigious Paris-Roubaix Juniors, all whilst continuing to proudly represent CC Hackney in domestic level races.
For 2014, his first year as an u23 rider, Tao signed with Axel Merckx, beginning a three-year stint on the Olympic Bronze medallist’s team. During this time Tao continued to ride for the Great Britain, now under the guidance of Keith Lambert, gaining selection for consecutive Road World Championships, alongside numerous other outings in the British colours. Tao travelled extensively with his trade team, racing multiple times in the Tours of California, Utah and Colorado, alongside various races all across Europe.
From 2014 to 2016 Tao was a proud recipient of the prestigious Dave Rayner Fund.
Shortly after winning the USA Pro Challenge Young riders jersey, the close of the 2015 season saw Tao given the opportunity to become a ‘stagiaire’ with Team Sky. He would race in Italy and Japan and get a true taste of what to expect should he have the chance to race for a World Tour team in the future. Going in to 2016 and the results seemed to confirm that this was the goal, with wins in Italy, France and in June, the British u23 Road Championships, enabling Tao to wear the British stripes for the remainder of the 2016 season.
2017 sees Tao step up in to the World Tour, with a whole new wealth of races, teammates and experiences awaiting in his ‘neo-pro’ season.