Geoghegan Hart ready to take on Vuelta challenge
Team Ineos co-leader Tao Geoghegan Hart feels he is peaking at the right time for La Vuelta a Espana.
Now in just his third Grand Tour, he is confident of improving on his performance in the Vuelta last year, when he finished 62nd, and this year's Giro where he crashed out.
Hart comes into the race after finishing fifth in the Tour de Pologne, a finish which he believes did not fully illustrate how well he is his riding.
" Personally I feel in a good place."
"I kind of learned from everything over the last year and am looking forward to the next few weeks," Hart said.
"It's a case of taking confidence from [the Tour de Pologne] moving forward and knowing that the legs were there to control the race - that's a nice progression that maybe you don't see on the results..
"Really being in control of the race and almost shaping it how you want the outcome you go which I would say is more or less what happened in those last two days of Poland.
"It's definitely different from my Vuelta last year where you were going into a whole unknown world."
"The Giro this year we went in with a pretty even team - obviously we were missing our leaders there - and it's not necessarily the same format here but its definitely more open than it has been in the past."
As for potential winners, along with the favourites in the market, the 24-year-old tips Italian rider Fabio Aru to bounce back to his 2015 Giro-winning form after angioplasty surgery hindered his early season preparations.
"There's a few riders who could be in with a shout of nicking a result," Hart said.
" I think my outside bet would be Fabio Aru"
"If you look at the programme he's had and obviously his pedigree before the surgery he's had on his iliac artery.
"I think the Jumbo-Visma guys have been super consistent this year - they've got at least three cards to play.
"Miguel Angel Lopez has been in the mix in every Grand Tour almost in his entire career.
"Then Astana are super strong as well, there's a lot of strong teams, I think Wout (Poels) even is looking really good.
"He's come in with a freshness having only decided to do the race relatively recently, he hasn't had the long build up and the strain of that.
"I think it should be an open race, I think its great for the Vuelta that there's a lot of name that you could pin your hat on.
"We'll look to make the most of that definitely. There's other teams to control definitely and we can just follow and pick our moments."