Tao Geoghegan Hart sidelined from Tour de France with fractured rib and COVID-19

Tao Geoghegan Hart from Lidl-Trek will miss the 2024 Tour de France, where he was set to make his debut in a leadership role for the team. The American squad shared this news on Friday morning, following Geoghegan Hart’s revelation that he had contracted COVID-19 upon returning to Andorra after competing in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Lidl-Trek also confirmed that Geoghegan Hart had sustained a fractured rib during the Dauphiné, caused by a stage 5 crash. “News we wish we didn’t have to share. Unfortunately, Tao Geoghegan Hart will miss this year’s Tour de France,” read a statement from Lidl-Trek. “The Brit has been sidelined for longer than initially expected after the Critérium du Dauphiné due to illness and injuries sustained, including a fractured rib, in the crash on Stage 5. Wishing Tao all the best for a good recovery. The Team can’t wait to see him back racing at 100 per cent as soon as he is ready.”

Geoghegan Hart joined Lidl-Trek from Ineos Grenadiers at the end of last season. He was recruited to lead their stage race ambitions as the team sought to elevate their status in the cycling world. His form had been improving in 2024, with a ninth-place finish at April’s Tour de Romandie marking a high point. However, the Dauphiné crash and subsequent illness have disrupted any chance of a second appearance at the Tour.

His absence means the team’s focus will shift. Danish sprinter Mads Pedersen will now assume a more prominent role, alongside Giulio Ciccone if the Italian can regain full fitness after suffering with flu last week. Lidl-Trek has yet to announce their complete lineup for the 2024 Tour de France.

Geoghegan Hart had been rebuilding his form this season after recovering from a complex fractured femur, which he suffered during last year’s Giro d’Italia when he seemed to be in the best form of his career.