'Proper packing': Geraint Thomas' take on Josh Tarling's 455 watt hour power target

Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe are dropping some big World Championship wattages on their latest podcast

Josh Tarling claims bronze at the 2023 World Championship time trial
(Image credit: Bruno Fahy / Getty Images)

455 watts for 56 minutes. That was Josh Tarling's own predicted average power for the World Championship time trial last week, according to his Great Britain and Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Geraint Thomas.

"He's super talented. He's proper packing. He's a big unit of a bloke," Thomas said on his most recent Watts Occurring podcast. "I asked him what he was going to average for the race, roughly – he said around 455 was the plan. I was like 'Jesus!'."

What Tarling actually produced on the day was not revealed, but it was good enough to yield a stunning ride for the bronze medal for the 19-year-old, behind Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Filippo Ganna and gold medallist Remco Evenepoel of Belgium.

He averaged 51.11kph (31.7mph) on a 48km course based on Stirling that was peppered with tough rises.

Thomas compared Tarling's planned wattage to his own, revealing: "My 10-minute power's maybe 470, my best. So not far off that, and this was for maybe an hour. The difference between me and him, pure power-wise, is massive."

Thomas's fellow podder Luke Rowe also dropped the grapevine-gossip on Ganna's power output in the event – a rumoured 490 watts for 55 minutes. But Thomas was less than convinced.

"I don't believe that, I don't think," he said. "In the Giro d'Italia he did, I think, 20 minutes at just over 500. So to do an hour at 490, that seems a bit off."

It is, admittedly, considerably higher than the 460 watts that the Italian has reported to have averaged previously, while Ganna's Strava activity for the event sheds little light on the matter (although it does show he took 11 KOMs along the course).

Thomas finished 10th in the event, 2:04 down on winner Evenepoel. But when it came to his own power output, he wasn't revealing a thing.

"I don't actually know what I averaged," he insisted, while Rowe teased him for playing his cards close to his chest.

"Yeah it's all part of the long game, it's just a big bluff," Thomas joked. "I'm actually flying, I could have won that."

Both Thomas and Rowe will be riding the Vuelta a España, which starts on 26 August.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.