As part of INEOS Grenadiers continued recruitment of young talent we are delighted to announce that 22-year-old Ben Turner will be joining the team from January 2022.
“I think most importantly moving to Belgium on my own, it’s about the life lessons that you experience, you don’t know much at that age. I didn’t speak the language either, it was a big jump, but in those situations you learn quickly,” Turner says.
Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, he appreciates coming from a part of the UK where cycling is prevalent. As an avid cyclist for most of his life, it was his father who introduced him to the cycling world, originally through BMX before they decided it would be best for him to move across to cyclocross due to how hazardous the BMX racing was.
“He took me to a BMX track when I was about seven and I did that for a long time. I was quite good at it, although I did keep crashing and breaking my bones so we moved over to cyclocross,” Turner says. “Then I got into the junior levels and was really good at cross, I was on the podium with Tom [Pidcock] at the Worlds.”
During his time in Belgium, Turner started to race road alongside cyclocross, a strategy that he believes is a good platform for success, and something that he’ll continue to do.
“Tom [Pidcock] and I have been speaking a lot about going back into the cross season, we’ve been speaking about it all year actually,” Turner enthuses. “We’ll start in December, it’s going to feel weird not having turned up to race in October, but I can’t wait, I’m really excited to start racing again.
“I think it leads really well into next year, into the Classics. It complements that racing really well, you can see it in riders like Mathieu [van de Poel], Wout [Van Aert] and Tom, so I’m excited to do that.”
Turner’s background in off-road racing has developed him into a punchy rider with a good turn of speed. “Coming from cross I’m probably a rider more tailored towards the Classics, races that are a bit punchy, I think that comes quite naturally from racing cross. I don’t want to say I’m an all-rounder, but I guess I can do a bit of everything.”
It’s an exciting time for British cycling, with a new wave of talent shining through, of which quite a few of them Turner will be teammates with next season. “The British youngsters in cycling are getting big now, I think there is a lot of strength and depth, if you look at INEOS there’s Tom and Ethan [Hayter] and Ben [Tulett] coming in as well, it’s really special to be a part of that.”
The team brings Turner on board as there is renewed focus on developing young talent, led by Deputy Team Principal, Rod Ellingworth who comments: “Ben has shown a real strength in character from a young age, it takes a lot of courage to move to a different country at the age of 17, and that kind of learning experience really helps young riders progress. I’m looking forward to seeing him grow within the team and think that he has the talent, experience and willingness to learn that will stand him in good stead for his first year in the WorldTour with us.”
Turner is excited about the next stage in his career, stepping up into the WorldTour, and is happy that it’ll be with the INEOS Grenadiers.
“What I’m most looking forward to about joining the team is just how big it is and the level it’s at,” he says. “Being a British rider you just want to be in this British team, it’s an honour to be part of it, especially going into my first year in the WorldTour, for that to be in the biggest team in the world is definitely something to look forward to. It's a big step so when I think about what I want to achieve, it’s about learning a lot, that’s what you’re kind of there to do in the first year.”