Remco Evenepoel wins World Championship time trial as Josh Tarling grabs superb bronze

Silver goes to Italy's Filippo Ganna, with fellow-favourite Wout Van Aert suffering an off-day

World Championship time trial elite men's podium of (l-r) Filippo Ganna, Remco Evenepoel, Josh Tarling
(Image credit: Adrian Dennis / Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel made up for disappointment in the road race by riding to gold in the World Championship elite men's time trial around Stirling, taking Belgium's first ever gold medal in the event and becoming its youngest ever winner to boot.

It followed a race-long battle with Italy's Filippo Ganna, who took silver, 12 seconds behind Evenepoel in Stirling, at the end of the 47.8km course.

Ganna's Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Josh Tarling (Great Britain) rode to an impressive bronze in what is his first senior year. The 19-year-old Welshman opted to skip the Under-23s and go straight to the elites, but it's unlikely even he thought he would end the day clutching a medal – only the second ever teenager to do so. 

That said, he did say he was hoping to "get a cow", referring to the podium finishers' cuddly toy prize. Now he has one in his collection.

Josh Tarling rides to bronze in the Worlds ITT

Tarling crosses the line to bronze

(Image credit: Getty Images)


The sun shone and the roads remained dry as the riders tackled what was a largely flat course peppered with four rises, including one to the finish, for a total 352m elevation. It took the riders westwards out from Stirling, looping round to return on the same trajectory.

Irishman Ryan Mullen set the early pace with the first sub-one hour time of the day by some way. But on a day back-loaded with big hitters like Ganna, Evenepoel and Wout Van Aert (Belgium) still to come, his time of 58.21 never looked set to last the day.

Many British eyes were on Tarling, the outgoing junior time trial world champion and contesting his first race at the elite senior level. Those fans – and Tarling himself – were allowed to dream too, as he set the quickest time at every time check before setting a new best time by a full 1.04 with time of a 56.07.

Shortly before Tarling came in, Australia's Rohan Dennis, in what was his final World Championship time trial before retirement, was set to take his place in the hot seat only to have the opportunity taken from him by a cruel and ill-timed mechanical at the bottom of the final climb. In the final reckoning he finished seventh – the incident having cost him sixth place.

Pre-race favourite Van Aert raised eyebrows when he went through the first check in sixth place, 27 seconds down, and when he went through check two more than a minute down it was clear it wasn't his day. He would eventually finish fifth, 1.37 in arrears.

Ganna and Evenepoel were a different kettle of fish, turning in the best and second best times at check one, with the Italian leading the way. At check two Ganna and Evenepoel had swapped places, with the Belgian going through 12sec up and the hilliest part of the course that favoured him still to come. 

From that point on these two big guns only seemed to go faster and faster, drawing away from Tarling as they battled against each other. Try as he might, Ganna was unable to make any real headway against his Belgian rival and, just as he was at the second check 13km previously, the Italian was 12 seconds behind a jubilant Evenepoel come the hard-earned finish line.


1. Remco Evenepoel, Belgium, in 55-19
2. Filippo Ganna, Italy, at 12s
3. Josh Tarling, Great Britain, at 48s
4. Brandon McNulty, USA, at 1-27
5. Wout Van Aert, Belgium, at 1-37
6. Nelson Oliveira, Portugal, at 1-52
7. Rohan Dennis, Australia, at 1-54
8. Mattia Cattaneo, Italy, at 1-57
9. Mikkel Berg, Denmark, at 1-59
10. Geraint Thomas, Great Britain, at 2-04

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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.