'I know I can do it so I need to make that next level': Ben Turner signs Ineos Grenadiers contract extension

The Classics and another Grand Tour are on the agenda for Doncaster's Big Ben

Ben Turner
(Image credit: Getty)

Ben Turner, Ineos Grenadiers’ breakthrough star of one-day racing, has signed a contract extension with the team until the end of 2026.

The Yorkshireman was outstanding in this year’s spring Classics as the British team led the way as the standout team in the northern European races.

Despite being just 22 at the time and making his WorldTour bow, Turner produced a series of eye-catching displays, both as a domestique and a rider given his own opportunities, scoring a fourth-place and an eighth-place at Brabantse Pijl and Dwars door Vlaanderen, respectively. He also finished 11th at Paris-Roubaix, won by his teammate Dylan van Baarle.

“It was definitely the best period of my life,” Turner told Cycling Weekly just before his new contract was announced. “I can’t wait to do it again, and I can’t wait to be back in the Classics.

“As a kid it was the Tour de France that I dreamt of racing one day, but the races I did this season in the Classics were just as much of a dream that I aspired to.”

Hailing from a cyclocross background, Turner signed to Ineos last winter on an initial two-year deal, but his emergence as a leading Classics rider and someone capable of contesting sprint finishes has led Ineos to tie down his signature for three more seasons.

“He’s taken to professional cycling very quickly and naturally, and there’s no doubt he has a very bright career ahead,” enthused the team’s deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth. “[He] had an absolutely brilliant first season as a Grenadier and shown us what a tremendous talent he is.”

Although he is still without a win as a professional, Turner is optimistic that his progression will continue in an upward trajectory once racing resumes in a few months.

“I’ll be having another big spring block again next year and hopefully I can perform really well again. If I can make another step up, that’d be really great,” he added.

“I can’t really say what that means exactly as we’ll have to see when I’m there, but my first year I over-achieved what my expectation was. There’s not more pressure on me now, but now I know I can do it so I need to make that next level, do other things, and race bigger races.”

Two months ago, Turner completed his first Grand Tour with two top-10 stage finishes in the Vuelta a España complementing his work as a domestique.

“It was a great experience,” he reflected. “It was one of those things where you’re just in your own world for a long time, just doing your thing, and then when you come out of it you realise how much of a box you were in.

“I can look back now and say it was fantastic. I did quite a good job and it was nice to know what I can do on the climbs and over three weeks. 

“It was nice to have a little bit of freedom in the Vuelta too. We had other team ambitions, but we know from my high power in training that I can sprint well. That’s something else to work on and I think the whole Vuelta experience will set me up nicely for next year.”

For the first time in his cycling life, the Doncaster-born rider is sitting out the cyclocross campaign, with he and his team deciding that a road-focused winter will better prepare him for his objectives.

“The road is key for me,” he insisted. “It’s the first time I’ve made the decision not to do cross, which is a big thing, but next year’s going to be an even bigger step up so I need some rest and downtime.”

Which begs the question of where and how he enjoyed his off-season? “Well, I didn’t go on an exclusive holiday like some people,” he laughed. “My girlfriend [Pfeiffer Georgi of Team DSM] and I have just moved to Andorra so it was two weeks of moving stuff into an apartment.”

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