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Half of the Ineos Grenadiers team finished inside the top-20 on the stage 2 time trial at the Giro d’Italia but while Richard Carapaz toiled to 19th and lost 24 potentially crucial seconds to arch rival Simon Yates, grand tour debutant Ben Tulett was tearing up the 9.3km course to take a highly creditable fifth on the stage.
Tulett, who at 20 was a surprise inclusion for the Giro d’Italia when Ineos Grenadiers announced its lineup for the race, came into the individual test without pressure. The youngster came through cyclo-cross and raced for Alpecin-Fenix in 2020 and 2021 before stepping up to the WorldTour.
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“It’s my first time being at a cycling event where I’m racing where there are that many people. At cyclo-cross there aren’t that many people. I don’t know what I expected. I just went out there with the intention of having some fun,” he told VeloNews at the finish in Budapest.
“I didn’t have a car behind me so I wasn’t prepared to go into it taking all the risks in the world. I’m surprised to see where I am provisionally. Of course there are some really big names to come but I just went out there with the intention of having some fun and giving it my all, and seeing where I ended up.”
In the end few of the big names troubled Tulett’s position on the stage with several grand tour contenders unable to match the young rider’s effort. The main objective for Tulett and his teammates is to support Carapaz’s quest for a second Giro d’Italia title. It’s only day two of the race but Tulett has demonstrated his ability on the Giro stage, and backed up a strong start to the season that saw him take a stage and finish second overall in Coppi e Bartali in April.
“There were some tricky corners that were difficult to manage today. Being here to support Richard is really exciting for me. To be helping such a champion in my first grand tour, I’m really looking forward to that,” he said.