Saturday, 31 October 2020

Tao - Keir looks back to look forward

Firstly I’d like to say how proud CC Hackney membership and I are of former original youth member Tao and what he has achieved as a professional racing cyclist, while at the same time being a brilliant role model for others - especially Hackney’s youngsters, well done Tao!

Since Tao Geoghegan Hart's amazing Giro d'Italia win in Milan, media heads have been asking for quotes about my time as his early years cycle sport coach. For now and for another time (without the disruptions pls) I've made a compilation, some of it based on the headings sent to me as a request by a reporter from The Sunday Times newspaper. 

See below: 

The Sunday Times 1st November

A good news story in troubled times 

"Just after detonating the 2020 Giro d'Italia, I see one of Hackney's best ever racing cyclists interviewed on TV to a world wide audience. He is looking calm and reflective again. Please tell me how this is possible, I'd love to know. For an analogy, think Beyonce on stage giving it the max and she’s out there, a glorious, dazzling goddess entertaining the universe. A short while later, backstage doing an interview and she’s like the woman next door." 

A global sport for all

"Having been active and pursuing fair representation at entry and every level since beginning cycle coaching in 2007, sometimes I look at UCI World Tour events, cycling world cups and championships in wonder. And then I'm going; aren't these riders supposed to be competing against the whole world. I mean like, where's the rest of 'em?!"

"Coming from multi cultural Hackney, recently Tao has been open in media interviews about cycle racing and its diversity problem. Another driver for actual change, we hope so and we keep believing"

Diversity & racism

"It was good to hear Tao remembering his Hackney roots as winner after the Giro had finished.; Geoghegan Hart said 'I would love to see more cycling as a sport in London and more diversity in cycling, I hope I can inspire a few kids in Hackney to dream big.'  

"Asking for improved access to quality cycling for all and to make the sport fully inclusive and welcoming; these are core sentiments at CC Hackney. It was great that he’d like his victory to inspire young people to do well in general and enjoy any sport."

Mental strength

"Yes, it's needed.” 

Once a goalkeeper always a Gooner

"Tao the goalkeeper. I never saw him playing football but they say you need to be a bit nuts to be a goalie; putting your body on the line and at risk for the team. In the end he said he got hacked off playing for the Borough because people kept letting him down. With CC Hackney and cycle sport I believed he realised his destiny was in his own hands and greater than with his local club."

“Tao is a Gooner - Arsenal FC."

Tao Geoghegan Hart & Alex Peters

"In youth racing with CC Hackney, there was a period when it was almost guaranteed that if Tao’s peer (school and club mate) Alex Peters would win a race one week, the following week comes around and Tao does the same. They had an incredible energy between them, they pushed each other on so much."

Write it down 

"On our funded trips away, it was a part of the deal that those travelling should take note and provide a write up for our sponsors and a personal record for history sake. Tao understood the reasoning and wrote it down."

The road to Essex 

"After one training ride I remember saying to Tao that he had lost pace for a moment on the final Epping Road stretch up to Woodford. This 20-minute 'final' needs to be drilled, finishing strong and near the limits. Maybe then, preparation for what was to come for this lad had already begun; as I gather that what goes on in the final hour of World Tour races these days really is an extreme effort."

Pas de Calais France

"A youth team rider for Hackney’s London Youth Games cycling squad, Tao travelled with us (bike train bike ferry) for a block of spring training on safe French roads. This was a new experience for our group and I think the first time Tao had ridden a racing bike in Tour de France country.”

Italian Youth Trip the road to Liguria

"My brief was to develop cycle sport in Hackney for the boroughs education authority *The Learning Trust. I organised and fundraised for a youth development trip to Osiglia, Liguria in Italy for 4th-7th September 2009. Liguria is the home area of Joseph Alberti, our assistant coach at the time. The group learned so much during this coiled spring of a visit, not least the enthusiasm and joy of cycling and racing in Italy.

On the trip were; CC Hackney members; Clem Berrill, Kyroah Pang, Alex Peters and Tao Geoghegan Hart, along with staff Joseph Alberti and lead Keir Apperley

“The idea was to introduce our talented young riders to the passion of continental Italian cycling and increase their interest in cycle sport for the future.” K.A.

Since then Alex and Tao went on via different routes to join Team Sky as young professional cyclists, scoring significant results domestically and internationally."                                                                     

Link to a short film about this trip: Delbono Memorial Race 2009

A special thanks must go to The Learning Trust's chief Sir Alan Wood for putting trust in me. And to  Nicola Baboneau (my line manager at the time) who backed my work and together we ensured our sponsored, educational trips went ahead in the correct way; fully compliant and sorted regarding safeguarding, child welfare and outcomes.  

Any more Tao's?

“Well, there is only one Tao, but Hackney is full of unearthed talent that really needs to be found. All corners of the globe are represented around here, so who knows who we have out there? African, Asian, South American, Caribbean – all here." 

"We have young riders coming through with the club and an outreach program, and we’re working on creating the environment for diversity progress here. I sense Tao has energised and helped this aspect now, which is great.”

Please and thank you 

“Tao has always been openly thankful and appreciative of any help that comes his way. He’s a polite and decent fella. Young sports people please take note, I’m sure you will; keep it coming!”

For the road  

“Nothing pleases rulers, status quo merchants and sporting opposition more, than some good old internecine infighting." 

"Tao has proven to be a fine team player and this is great to see.

Keir Apperley – founding member of Cycling Club Hackney, Manager and lead Coach.

"Everybody's time comes and when you get your chance, take it!"

"How can you help other people if you don't look after yourself. Rule number one - look after number one"

"We're all people on the same planet. The borders we put between us are just a construct"

Cycling Club Hackney - Founded November 2007

'...understated, stated'

And here from former Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger;

'If you don't believe you can do it, then you have no chance at all'

Monday, 26 October 2020

Giro d'Italia has been won by...

Tao O my gosh! 

The Giro d'Italia has been won by a Londoner from Hackney, not only that his old club was 'the famous' CC Hackney (CCH) TAO GEOGHAGEN HART 2020 Giro d'Italia winner.

As lead coach and general manager of CCH and on behalf of the whole club membership, friends, family, associates, supporters, sponsors and stakeholders - WELL DONE TAO!!!

Great and now due to all this I've got a whole lot of extra work to do - nice one Tao!  😆 

Cheers everyone - stay safe, enjoy the moment.

Keir Apperley - general manager and lead coach. 

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Hackney race ace Tao is close to winning 2020 Giro d'Italia Maglia Rosa

Many hearts were beating fast in Hackney while watching one of our former and original youth member Tao Geoghegan Hart race and win the penultimate mountain stage of this year's Giro d'Italia. With one more flat stage to go tomorrow of this epic three week grand tour, then a short individual time trial (ITT) in Milan to decide things, many here believe our man is right on course to win the race overall. That's a bit nutz if not the nuts!

Good luck Tao, have a nice cycle ride tomorrow and enjoy the day from all at CC Hackney.



Guardian Report:

Giro d'Italia: Hindley and Geoghegan Hart level at top after dramatic battle

  • Pair set to fight for overall victory in Sunday’s final time trial
  • Format favours Hindley, with both riders starting on same time
  •  Jai Hindley (left) will wear the pink jersey for Sunday’s final stage but is level on time with Tao Geoghegan Hart (right). Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images,

    Jai Hindley and Tao Geoghegan Hart are set to battle for Giro d’Italia glory on Sunday, after the penultimate stage left the pair tied at the top of the overall standings.

    Hindley’s Sunweb teammate, Wilco Kelderman, began Saturday’s shortened mountain stage in the pink jersey, but was left behind as Hindley and Ineos Grenadiers’ Geoghegan Hart fought a ferocious battle on the final climb up Sestriere. It was the British rider who prevailed, sprinting clear to take the stage win and ensure that after 20 days of riding, the two young rivals are locked in a dead heat. Kelderman is in third, but now 1m 32s behind the leading duo.

    Hindley will begin the final stage in the pink jersey as the Australian edged the two previous time trials by the narrowest of margins. It means little in practice, with Sunday’s final time trial into Milan set to be decisive.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Original CC Hackney member Tao Geoghegan Hart wins a stage of the 2020 Giro d'Italia!


Congratulations as original CC Hackney member (as a youth) Tao Geoghegan Hart wins his first Grand Tour stage at the historic Giro d'Italia last Sunday and moves to 4th in the GC. But will he go on to win the whole thing by this Sunday!? 

Text below taken from the BBC sports news report HERE

An emotional first win

Geoghegan Hart, 25, powered past Sunweb's Kelderman for the win in the final few metres of the category one summit finish, after the Dutchman's team-mate Jai Hindley had paced everyone up the long final climb.

Geoghegan Hart dedicated the victory to Nico Portal, Ineos' sporting director who died of a heart attack aged 40 in March this year.

"This is something incredible for me. I don't know about [the general classification], I haven't seen the results - but crossing the line first is something truly incredible.

"This one is for Nico Portal. We lost him this spring and it's been really difficult for the team - this season has had great highs and lows, in the Tour [de France] and for me personally, and also in this race.

"We just have to foster the Grenadier spirit in this team and keep fighting back like we know we can."

Is Geoghegan Hart a serious contender?

Despite his young age, the east Londoner has long been a part of the Ineos/Sky set-up as a domestique, but like so many of the team's riders he is capable of winning the general classification in stage races.

However, it appeared Ineos would have to settle for trying to win stages for a second Grand Tour in succession when race favourite Geraint Thomas was forced to abandon with a fractured pelvis.

The Welshman crashed when a discarded drinks bottle became lodged under his front wheel.

But this has been one of the most unpredictable Giros for years, and after spending at least a week more than three minutes down, Geoghegan Hart finds himself in contention.

His biggest strength is climbing, and as the race heads for a final week's racing in the ever-colder Italian Alps he stands a good chance of gaining time, especially on leader Almeida who is thought to be more effective in time trials, although the final stage of the race is an individual time trial.

Kelderman is clearly in a great position, given he is two minutes, 42 seconds ahead of both his third-placed team-mate Hindley and Geoghagen Hart, but Pello Bilbao of Bahrain-McLaren, Rafal Majka of Bora-Hansgrohe and Trek-Segafredo's Nibali are also in contention.

Friday, 9 October 2020

CC Hackney's 'mostly women' cycling group pilot at The Concorde Centre

 Saturday 26th September 2021

This day was the start of a trial for 'mostly women cycling group' (working title) This pilot  session is to assess the need and to find out what works. CCH lead coach Keir Apperley has had talks with several parents of members our youth group sessions there and it was decided to go ahead with a series of rides - let's go cycling!  

Our mostly women cycling group pilot sessions are held on Saturday afternoons from 1.30 - 3.30pm They are unfunded at this stage but supported pro bono by qualified club volunteers and club fund reserves to maintain our loan cycles and other costs. 

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