European Road Cycling Championships: Josh Tarling wins time trial, with Anna Henderson claiming silver
Great Britain’s Josh Tarling produced one of the best rides of his career to win gold in the individual time trial at the European Road Cycling Championships in Drenthe.
Tarling, 19, was 42.92 seconds quicker than Switzerland’s Stefan Bissegger, with Belgium’s Wout van Aert third.
Anna Henderson, 24, won silver in the women’s race, finishing 43.36 seconds behind Switzerland’s Marlen Reusser.
Britain’s Zoe Backstedt also won gold in the Under-23 women’s race.
Tarling’s success continues a memorable year for the Welsh rider, after he won the British Championships and claimed bronze in the time trial at August’s World Championships in Glasgow.
Neither Remco Evenepoel of Belgium or Italy’s Filippo Ganna, who finished ahead of Tarling in Glasgow, were competing in Drente, the Netherlands.
Tarling, who is in his first season as a professional with Ineos Grenadiers, was the last rider out on the 29.5km course and was ahead at the first and second split, before finishing in 31 minutes and 30 seconds.
“It was hard,” Tarling told Eurosport. “I felt weaker today than I did at the Worlds.
“The wind was really hard, I had to hold the high power all day.”
Henderson, who was fourth in the Worlds in Glasgow, was 25th out of 30 to tackle the course, and crossed in first place, leading to a nervous wait for final competitor Reusser to finish.
The Swiss rider was quicker though to ensure she won the European title for the third successive year, with Austria’s Christina Schweinberger competing the podium.
Henderson’s fellow Brit Elinor Barker came ninth.
“It was a really tough course,” Henderson told Eurosport. “It was technically maybe not the hardest but physically and mentally it was hard. I was really happy with my ride.
“I wanted a top five finish today but to get a podium is really special.”
Time-trial expert Backstedt, 18, won by 57.51 seconds from Germany’s Antonia Niedermaier, with Finland’s Anniina Ahtosalo third.
Henderson and Baker are also set to compete in Saturday’s elite women’s race, with Alice Barnes, Pfeiffer Georgi, Claire Steels and Beckie Storrie rounding off the British team.
Ethan Vernon is set to lead Great Britain in Sunday’s elite men’s road race, with Tarling, Luke Rowe, Lewis Aksey, Mark Stewart, Connor Swift, Ben Turner and Sam Watson also competing.
Backstedt is due to compete in Friday’s Under-23 women’s road race, alongside sister Elynor, world road Under-23 bronze medallist Anna Shackley, Millie Couzens, Flora Perkins and Alice Towers.