Josh Tarling puts his hand up for possible Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España

After a strong start to 2024, the young Brit is open to making his debut at the Spanish Grand Tour towards the end of the season

Clock17:34, Friday 29th March 2024
Josh Tarling finished sixth at Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday

© Getty Images

Josh Tarling finished sixth at Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday

His programme was meant to centre around short stage races, progression and the track at the Olympic Games in Paris but such has been his rapid development it’s little wonder that Josh Tarling (Ineos Grenadiers) is tempted by the idea of making his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España later this year.

The Olympic games remain the centrepiece of his current season but after a time trial win at O Gran Camiño earlier this year, and some promising climbing performances at Paris-Nice in March, the 20-year-old could well be making a strong case for a Vuelta inclusion. At the start of the year the European time trial champion was set to forgo Grand Tour ambitions for the full season. 

“I don’t know but I’d like to,” he replied when GCN caught up with him at the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen and asked if the Vuelta could at least be a possibility at this stage.

“Maybe. I think everyone is on the long list for the Vuelta, you know, it’s the end of the season,” he added.

“I’ve done some good races. Got the win in O Gran Camiño, so I think that it’s going well. There’s still a lot more goals to come. Everything builds towards the track but after this block, I do Romandie, which has two time trials but the main focus is for now and this period,” he said in relation to the Classics. 

Tarling has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks since joining Ineos Grenadiers at the start of last season. While his development can be traced to his junior days as a world time trial champion, the speed at which he has settled into the WorldTour has been a major boost for Ineos as they build their roster around young talents.

“For sure it was a surprise but we’ll keep working on it as well. I think it’s going to take everything to try and win at the Olympics. As well as this, on the road it’s going to take everything to be as good as I need to be.”

And there’s the notion of one day developing into a fully-fledged stage racer within the team. That might be several years away but it’s an idea that has been discussed when looking at Tarling’s future path.

“There have been some good signs in Paris-Nice and O Gran Camiño. I think there’s a lot of room to still improve and it’ll be interesting to see where that goes but it’s the Olympics first,” he told GCN.

Before any of that, Tarling will make his debut in the Tour of Flanders this Sunday. After showing his extended repertoire as a rider with sixth in Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, the young British rider could provide vital cover for Ineos Grenadiers in the second half of Sunday’s Monument.

“I tried my best but I think sixth was the best I could have got today,” Tarling said at the finish of Dwars door Vlaanderen.

For the latest news, interviews and analysis from the world of professional cycling, be sure to check out the Racing tab on the GCN website and visit our essential guide to The Spring Classics to stay up to date with all of the action from cycling's most exciting season.

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