He may be completely unknown to the general public, but write down his name because he’ll be the talk of the town from now on. He already left his mark at the last World Cups in Glasgow, where he not only won bronze, but was also close to two time trial giants like Remco Evenepoel and Filippo Ganna. Well, without the presence of the Belgian and the Italian at this European event taking place this week in the Drenthe region (Netherlands), Joshua Tarling has gone up two steps. Logic, but through destruction.
And the Brit won the title of European time trial champion with overwhelming dominance and a performance that is uncharacteristic of a 19-year-old. The Ineos rider took victory through impressive positioning and pedaling power, as well as impressive skills in the most technical areas of a track in the city of Emmen that he liked like a glove with its endless straights. Not even Stefan Bissegger (silver), who presented his championship crown, and Wout van Aert (bronze) could prevent Tarling from becoming the second youngest European time trial champion in history. Only Evenepoel, who otherwise only beats him by 22 days.
We didn’t have to wait long to see that Tarling’s legs were on another level today. Already at the first intermediate point, which is just over 10 km from the exit, he was able to reach an average speed of 61 km/h. Crazy. Only the headwind, which hindered the runners’ speed in the final part of the route, reduced their average speed a little, but not their momentum, as he demonstrated by avoiding with enormous skill the few pitfalls that existed: the rubbing of the Curbs in the curves. Jumps over roundabouts… Stefan Küng wasn’t that smart and suffered a bad fall in the last few kilometers, which knocked him out of the fight for the medals. Due to a mistake, the Swiss driver collided with a fence post and ended the race bleeding. Van Aert, who was performing progressively worse, gave up the silver medal in favor of Bissegger in the final section of the time trial. It could have been more painful as Tarling reached the finish line close behind him.
Reusser pulls himself together
A little over a month ago, she was lying on the grass next to the road, completely emotionally depressed. One of the best time trial runners in the world and a big favorite for gold has given up on the world championships in Glasgow. “I wasn’t prepared, I wasn’t in the best shape,” she said a few minutes after getting off the bike. Sometimes the mind plays tricks…
But great champions have these intangibles that make them unique, and they always come back stronger. And it is Marlen Reusser. This Wednesday, the Swiss won European gold in the time trial for the third time in a row with a great performance that the other competitors could do nothing about. The SD Worx driver didn’t have the best time the first time Austrian Christina Schweinberger left her mark. Both she (bronze) and Great Britain’s Anna Henderson (silver) went from underdogs to medals after knocking favorites like Lotte Kopecky (5th) out of the field. Reusser, out of competition, allowed himself the luxury of overtaking another candidate for victory like the Dutch Riejanne Markus (7th) shortly before crossing the finish line. Only the top six were less than a minute behind the relentless Reusser, who has still not given up her continental throne.
Men’s Elite Time Trial Results
1. Joshua Tarling (GBr) – 31:30
2. Stefan Bissegger (Sui) – at 42
3. Wout van Aert (Bél) – 43
22. Xabier Mikel Azparren – 2:24
Women’s Elite Time Trial Results
1ª Marlen Reusser (Sui) – 35:53
2ª Anna Hendersson (GBr) – a 43
3ª Christina Schweinberger (Aut) – 44
24. Mireia Benito – 2:44