Josh Tarling wins stage 1 of O Gran Camiño as race adjusts for extreme winds

European champ took the win by 42 seconds over the 14km course while GC times were neutralised

Clock20:17, Thursday 22nd February 2024
Josh Tarling was fast even without his time trial bike on stage 1 of the O Gran Camino, winning in commanding fashion

© Dario Belingheri / Velo Collection via Getty Images

Josh Tarling was fast even without his time trial bike on stage 1 of the O Gran Camino, winning in commanding fashion

Extreme weather did not hinder stage favourite Josh Tarling (Ineos Grenadiers) with the British rider winning the stage 1 time trial at O Gran Camiño in dominant fashion.

The European time trial champion won the stage despite the organisers making changes to the event due to high winds, including a mandate requiring riders to use road bikes instead of time trial bikes and neutralising the general classification.

Nevertheless, a stage win and leader’s jersey were up for grabs with Tarling taking the win ahead of Darren Rafferty (EF Education-EasyPost) and Pablo Castrillo (Equipo Kern Pharma).

“I’m super happy,” Tarling said after the stage. “It was a super hard and tricky TT. Especially the last 4km, which were way harder than in the recon.”

Tarling began his season in Australia at the Tour Down Under so O Gran Camiño was the British rider’s first test against the clock this season. With the win on stage 1 Tarling has extended his time trial winning streak to four after wins at the Renewi Tour, the European Championships and Chrono des Nations to close out his breakthrough 2023 season.

“With a headwind on the way out you had to go really hard and then on the way back it was windy also so there was no easy point. Even the descent had a big headwind,” he said about his ride.

O Gran Camiño will continue on Friday with all riders equal on time after the neutralisation for the time trial. Without the time counting towards the overall general classification, the likes of Jonas Vingegaard, Richard Carapaz and Tarling’s teammates Carlos Rodríguez and Egan Bernal kept their powder dry for the tougher days later in the week.

Nevertheless, both Bernal and Rodríguez put in strong rides despite the low stakes in the time trial with both riders finishing in the top 25.

“I think we’d like to keep the jersey in the team, everyone is on fire, really,” Tarling said of the team’s outlook for the rest of the race. “With Carlos [Rodríguez], Egan [Bernal], Ethan [Hayter], everyone is flying. We are in good shape and we have a good opportunity.”

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