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Ineos satisfied with four top-20 results in Giro time trial

BUDAPEST HUNGARY MAY 04 Ben Tulett of United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the Team Presentation of the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 at Heroes Square Giro WorldTour on May 04 2022 in Budapest Hungary Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images
Ben Tulett responds to warm welcome at team presentation in Budapest, Hungary (Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Ineos Grenadiers gave themselves a collective thumbs up on Saturday after the team grabbed no less than four top-20 places in the stage 2 time trial, with Giro d’Italia debut racer Ben Tulett claiming a hugely impressive fifth.

Pavel Sivakov finished 15th at 22 seconds, Richie Porte 16th in the same time, while Richard Carapaz, the Grand Tour leader for Ineos Grenadiers, was 19th, 28 seconds behind stage 2 winner Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco). 

Tulett, 20, told reporters on the line he had been boosted towards a standout performance by going out with the intention of “having some fun and giving it my all."

“I couldn’t hear myself think, it was lovely to be at an event with so many people, it pushed me on,” said Tulett, already a promising 15th on stage 1 of the Giro.

“I  didn’t have a team car following me so I didn’t want to take all the risks in the world,” he said. “There were some really dead corners, difficult to manage, certainly a tricky time.

“But I went out with the intention of having some fun and giving it my all, seeing what came of it.”

Tulett said that his main motivation for the Giro, in any case, is helping Carapaz, “and that’s the sole reason I’m here, I’m really looking forward to that.”

Carapaz himself did not talk to reporters at the finish, but Ineos Grenadiers management said later it had been a good day for the team all round.

“First of all chapeau to [stage winner] Simon Yates (Bike Exchange-Jayco) what a great ride,” Sports Director Oli Cookson told Cyclingnews. “Obviously it’s him that puts in the work behind the scenes, but they [the team] must have been putting the work in as well.

“From our point of view though, if you look at where our guys are with Richie Porte, Pavel and Ben Tulett, we’re more than happy with where we’re at, looking at the bigger picture.”

As Carapaz himself, Cookson said, “he got it all out, he didn’t take any risks and there’s a lot to play for in this race. Where he’s positioned himself in amongst that group of GC guys, I think he’s happy with that.”

Regarding Tulett, Cookson pointed to his notable results in events like the Fleche Wallonne and the Tour de Pologne last year, where he took 12th and ninth, respectively, as already showing what he was capable of achieving. 

“He’s clearly talented, but it’s not like he’s just joined the WorldTour this year. I’m sure he’ll be a great support asset for us in the high mountains.”

The Mount Etna stage, Cookson agreed, will play the key role in deciding the GC from hereon. 

“It’s going to be an incredibly hard stage and final climb, and then onto the Blockhaus and the final week. I think in particular in this Giro it’s a question of managing and calculating your effort right and we’ve started in a good place in particular today with that.”

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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.