by Joe Mansfield
TAO Geoghegan Hart came out on top in his time trial battle with Jai Hindley to clinch the Giro d’Italia title on Sunday afternoon.
Jack Kershaw, who was a carer for the Great Britain under 23’s academy, worked alongside the Scot for two years while he was 18 and 19. During this time he imparted his knowledge as an ex-pro upon the youngster.
It was the role of the carers to steer the riders along the right path and let them know where they thought they had gone wrong every now and then.
“Tao looked the real deal because he had such a good head on him, you would say if anyone could do it, it would be him.
“His mentality has got to be the attribute that has made him succeed. Lots of lads have the legs. It does come down to mentality.”
Adding to his point, the former professional spoke of the maturity of Geoghegan Hart.
“He’s got an old head on young shoulders and always has had. Even when he was 19 years old.”
Kershaw went on to divulge more about the maturity of Geoghegan Hart as he told of a time the youngster was asked in an interview which cycling jersey was his favourite.
“He said Peugeot. So, I asked him if it was really his favourite and he said it was because of the history and nostalgia around it. The names like Dave Jones, Robert Miller, Roach, Piper they all came through ACDB and all wore the Peugeot jersey.
“I wore it when I rode in Metz at the same club that Sean Kelly went to after me. So, I gave Tao one of my 45-year-old jerseys. So, he now has one of my blue and yellow Velo Club Metz Jerseys.”
Comparatively, Kershaw couldn’t definitively tell if Simon and Adam Yates would go on to excel in their careers like they have. Simon is one of the five Britons to win a Grand Tour as he won the Vuelta a Espana in 2018.
“With the Yates brothers you couldn’t look at them and think they are future tour winners.
“You become the done deal when you have done the deal and until then you are just a prospect.
“It really is difficult looking at the young lads. You tended to think they know more than they did because they had all the gear, but they were still learning. We just gave them little snippets of experience and it’s fascinating watching them evolve now.”
Other names to have come through the GB under 23’s while Kershaw was a carer include James Knox, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull and Chris Lawless who are all performing well in their senior road careers.