The Ineos Grenadiers chief Sir Dave Brailsford spoke to Eurosport’s Bernie Eisel after watching Tao Geoghegan Hart win the Giro d’Italia on Sunday.
And Brailsford says that the race has been a hugely exciting one for him and the team, inspired by brilliant performances from first Filippo Ganna and then Tao.
The Ineos plan was ripped up when Geraint Thomas crashed out on Stage 3, but Brailsford says it has been a highly enjoyable race for the team despite that setback.
"When we started out Geraint was the leader really and when you think about it I think what happened here is that Filippo (Ganna) set the scene, coming here with the rainbow bands and getting the TT, getting the pink jersey,” Brailsford said.
‘He’s a geezer, he and Bradley Wiggins’ – Brailsford on Giro Champion Tao Geoghegan Hart
"Then there was the massive disappointment with Geraint going home.
When Filippo won that road stage in the hills everybody was like, ‘wow, that is an incredible performance’. It inspired everybody. We said, you know what guys, let’s open the race up, everybody race for stages, give everybody an opportunity. Tao, you just follow and stay on GC, everybody who doesn’t make the break help and support.
- Tao Geoghegan Hart wins Giro d'Italia as Ganna completes time trial hat-trick
- Giro d'Italia Stage 21 - As it happened
- An open letter to Tao Geoghegan Hart - by Bradley Wiggins
- Giro d'Italia 2020 final rankings and standings
- Who is Tao Geoghegan Hart?
"I think he liked that. He grew into the role. There was no pressure on him, it was an adventure every day and he was getting better and better. There was a moment to be fair to him, Rohan Dennis has got to have a mention in this, because he was unbelievable here.
"For Tao, there was a moment when he switched from being, maybe. You could see a switch going off and he was like, ‘I can do this’. He’s a geezer isn’t he, him and Bradley Wiggins. Fair play to them, London has got something about it.
The story I like about Tao is that he bunked off school to come and ride behind all the other guys with his dream of becoming a pro bike rider. He’s come into the team and he’s gone and won a Grand Tour. It’s the stuff of comic books really.
'Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd win a Grand Tour' - Giro champion Geoghegan Hart
Brailsford says that winning in this style at the Giro was much more fun than the defensive style of riding that saw them winning Grand Tour after Grand Tour in the last decade.
"What I liked about this is that we’ve done the train, we’ve done the defensive style of riding, we’ve won a lot doing that. But it’s not much fun really, compared to this," he said.
Giro Stage 21 highlights - Watch Tao Geoghegan Hart make history in Milan
"What the guys have done here, the two Giros we’ve done – Froomey’s stage 19 and this. All the team here have raced. At the end of the day the sport is about racing, the emotion and the exhilarating emotion of racing, and that’s what we want to be.
"A lot of people have contributed to this victory, but you can’t think about this without thinking about Nico Portal. Tao has had a lot of support along the way, everybody in this team have supported him, and they deserve a lot of credit for that.
This is about style, this is about how you do it and what you do. It’s not just about parking the bus, we’ve had the freedom and confidence to go balls out and have a go. I love that. That’s why I loved cycling in the first place, this is what we’re going to be, it’s a whole new different story.
Tao's fairytale: How Geoghegan Hart and Ineos won Giro