A new Hackney hero races into view — and he hopes to inspire other youngsters to do the ride thing

LonFields©DA14: © david.altheer@gmail.com autumn "wildflowers" London Fields N of Broadway Market Hackney E8 111114
Tao © NA
At Milan cathedral Hackney’s Tao Geoghegan Hart celebrates his winning ride, as shown in The Times today, and top, London Fields, where he was raised

HACKNEY HAS A NEW HERO. Raised in London Fields, Tao Geoghegan Hart last weekend won the Giro d’Italia, 3,345.7km of racing across Italy for more than 85 gruelling hours.  

Geoghegan Hart rode for Hackney Cycling Club and once bunked off school to ride, as a fan, with Team Sky, which later signed him. A typical Sunday for the teenager was: play football on Hackney Marshes then ride down to Brick Lane with his father, a builder, to look for market bargains.  

He is also a strong swimmer . In the summer of 2008, barely in his teens, he and five other members of Clissold Swimming Club took 11 hours 34 minutes to finish a cross-Channel swimming relay. He worked part-time at Condor Cycles, in Gray’s Inn Road, Holborn London WC1. 

After his triumph, which ended at Milan cathedral, the 25-year-old said: “I hope I can inspire a few kids in Hackney to dream big, even if it’s not just in cycling.”

His Hackney origins are a far cry from his present home, in Andorra, a helpfully mountainous mini-state in southwestern Europe. He lives with Hannah Barnes, another cyclist.

Marshes©DA:© david.altheer@gmail.com Birkbeck Orient FC 5, FC Haggerston 1 @ Hackney Marshes 13 Jan 2013
Sunday-morning football on the Marshes: almost a rite of passage for young Hackneyites

Say the Geoghegan bit of the name as Geygan. And his christian name? Tayoh: it’s a Celtic version of Tom. 

Hamish Scott 261020

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