Afternoon Interview: Tao Geoghegan Hart
Words by: Ryan & Tao
Photos of Tao by: Russ Ellis & Getty Sport
It’s the afternoon. You’ve just finished a big training day or you’re in the midst of post lunch procrastination at your day job. Either way, make a coffee and digest the first installment of Eastman Training Co.’s Afternoon Interview with none other than Tao Geoghegan Hart from Team Sky.
I met Tao in 2014 at our training camp when we both raced for Axel Merckx’s Team. I could instantly tell he was different. The way he pedaled. How his mind worked. His outlook on life. I could tell he was going to be successful in a big way. Shortly after that camp I began to look up to someone three years younger than myself.
Enough of me talking. Here is Tao talking:
What influences outside of cycling affect your motivation, style, and outlook on the sport?
I think a lot of different sports definitely influence and especially motivate me. I am a big football fan, (no not NFL!), so I watch a lot of premiership to relax and really enjoy a lazy afternoon on the weekends after training watching a game. It is a really different sport but I have followed it super closely since I was a young child and I am definitely in awe of the beautiful game. Aside from that I really respect other endurance sports, especially running, it is so fluid and an elite runner at top speed is something pretty special in my opinion. I'd say the biggest thing is stories, no matter the sport or even non-sport related, it's all about the people, where they have come from, what they have achieved, who they are. To list a few from sport; Thierry Henry, Anthony Joshua, Kipchoge, Bradley Wiggins, Steven Gerrard, Axel and Eddy Merckx.
“no not NFL!”
How do you see cycling evolving over time, in a way most people wouldn't realize?
As Cycling becomes more and more technological I think a clever and inspired few will really hold on to the personal, romantic, adventure and a little less tangible or quantifiable aspect of the sport, hobby and simple beauty of bicycles. I think those few will take much more from the sport and their training, than those too obsessed or reliant upon numbers, computers and metrics. I also think their passion and energy will outlive those slaved to the screen.
What are the top character traits you have gained from cycling that would translate into success outside of the sport?
Resilience. An ability to plan and work for the short, medium and very long term, irrespective of the hurdles along the way. An unwavering belief, in one-self and others. A desire to always push for more, to always want to improve and to be utterly unrelenting. Passion. Strength. An ethos that the future is utterly self-determined, for better or for worse. But most importantly, love.
How do you think suffering on the bike makes someone a better person?
It gives you a place to empty your head. And it is a place that as long as you have your bike, you can always find, no matter how far from home you stray, or how long it has been since your last visit.
What was the latest book, podcast, song, or article you consumed that had a lasting effect on you?
At the moment I am reading a book on Pep Guardiola, focused on his time at Bayern. He has definitely changed the game and his unique style is incredible to watch. By all accounts, he is the definition of unrelenting.
How has your view on training changed from when you began cycling till now?
I started as a 14 year old searching for something to be as good as I possibly could be at. Something I could consume myself in and that might make for a good adventure along the way. Essentially I am still the exact same person, just a few chapters into that journey, still training as long and as hard as I can, still with the fire inside me to push for more.
Want more of Tao? Follow him here:
His Team: @TeamSky
His Agent: @CorsoSports
Thanks for the well spoken words, Tao.
Smoke Runner - Trip to the Sierras
Rouleur Magazine’s article on my transition away from pro cycling
Boundless Locomotion Snow Day
Pop Up Ride - Mairn
More to come as the adventures roll on
Bye for now
Check back soon