Youngster Joshua Tarling impresses with convincing time-trial win in Sluis


Joshua Tarling (INEOS-Grenadiers) has won Thursday’s second stage of the Renewi Tour. The 19-year-old Briton blew away the opposition in an individual time-trial in Sluis, defeating Belgians Tim Wellens and Yves Lampaert by 14 and 18 seconds respectively. In the general classification Tarling takes over the leader’s jersey from Wednesday’s sprint stage winner Jasper Philipsen.

Dutchman Daan Hoole laid down an early marker, with former world champion Tobias Foss and Danish rouleur Mikkel Bjerg falling short of the Lidl-Trek rider’s time.

Tim Wellens, a two-time winner of the Renewi Tour, did manage to beat Hoole’s benchmark. The UEA Team Emirates leader bested Hoole by nine seconds, but his time in the hot seat was short-lived.

Tarling was one of the pre-race favourites after his stunning bronze medal at the Glasgow time-trial world championships and the young Briton confirmed his exciting potential. Tarling took 14 seconds out of Wellens’s time with a chrono of 15:05 over 13.6km, amounting to an average of 54.099 km/h.

Belgians Yves Lampaert, Jasper Stuyven and Florian Vermeersch all impressed by claiming third, fourth and fifth respectively. Leader Philipsen finished 35th, 48 seconds behind Tarling.

That means the 19-year-old also takes over the leader’s jersey from Philipsen, with Wellens, Lampaert, Stuyven and Kasper Asgreen completing the top five. Tarling also took the lead in the Teamleader points classification as well as the Ethias young rider standings. Ludovic Robeet retains his jersey for the Super 8 combativity classification.

On Friday the queen’s stage takes the peloton from Aalter to Geraardsbergen with a stage over 171.2km. The classic stage features climbs of the Edelare, Leberg, Berendries, Tenbosse, twice the Bosberg, Onkerzeleberg, Denderoordstraat as well as three ascents of the famed Muur van Geraardsbergen.

Tarling “started panicking” at the split

Tarling was delighted to take his first ever win in the World Tour, an achievement he celebrated with his mother and girlfriend at the podium. “It’s crazy,” the teenager beamed. “The team has been super supportive and I’m super happy.”

But during the time-trial Tarling admitted to “panicking” because he thought he had started too quickly.

“I thought I started fast,” he explained. “Then I heard the splits and I started panicking. But it was only a short time-trial, so it was just about going flat out.”

As part of a strong INEOS-Grenadiers line-up, the youngster was keen to downplay his GC ambitions.

“Let’s see what happens day by day. We have other super talents in the team, so I think we have options now.”



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