2023 Renewi Tour Stage 2 Preview

Sluis 13.6km ITT

The second stage of the race is a 13.6km ITT. It’s going to have a massive impact on the GC fight, a big ride in this stage will give some riders hope going into Friday’s stage.  


One for the specialists. It takes place on narrow, exposed roads, but that’s not a problem in a TT.  


It’s a very humid day, which means a chance of thunderstorms. These are not easy to predict with any certainty, but the forecast I’ve looked at thinks it rains in the morning and early afternoon, before stopping at 1600. The wind should be stronger for the later starters, which is bad news as there’s a lot of headwind. Not a great forecast for a TT. 


Josh Tarling – his performance in the worlds was incredible. Finishing 3rd at just 19, against such a high-level field, was one of the best rides of the season. Tarling comes here with one win to his name this season, that was the British TT, I think the time is right for him to take his first win in a big race. Beating him on this circuit is going to be very difficult. 

Kasper Asgreen – a big day in his fight for the overall win. Asgreen is very strong on his TT bike, he’ll be hoping to challenge for the top 3, which should put him in a good position for Geraardsbergen. 

Yves Lampaert – this is a very good distance for him. If it’s wet roads for all, I think he’s got a shot at beating Tarling. The Belgian is very good at cornering, wet roads would only increase his chances of gaining time on his rivals. 

Tobias Foss – a win would be a surprise; he currently doesn’t look at his best. 

Tim Wellens – another of the GC riders who’ll be hoping for a big ride. He was 5th in the Poland TT, which was over 16.6km, so the form is good. I don’t think people often think of Tim as a TT rider, but his performances in this discipline can be very good, especially over a distance like this. A good time puts him in the shout for the overall. 

Mikkel Bjerg – 9th at worlds wasn’t as good as he would have hoped for, he should do better here. It’s unlikely he’ll beat Tarling, but the Dane should be capable of challenging for the top 5. 

Johan Price-Pejtersen – he’s the third starter of the day. Despite what the weather forecast says, he’ll be hoping for dry roads and then for the rain to come. You just never know. 

Prediction Time 

I’ll base this prediction on the same conditions for all, I have no idea if this will happen. 

A win for Josh Tarling.