What's Cool In Road Cycling

Canyon-Eisberg’s Harry Tanfield Gets PEZ’d!

Rider Interview: Ed Hood keeps his eye open for any young talent coming on the British scene and the most recent ‘up and coming’ rider is Harry Tanfield from the North East of England. With good results in the velodrome and on the road at home and abroad, Harry is a man to watch.


It’s a wee while since we spoke to a good British ‘young un’ on the way up; so here’s a young man who’s made major progress during 2017.

Harry Tanfield (Bike Channel-Canyon) is one half of the Tanfield brothers; little bruv Charlie is rapidly making a name for himself on the track as part of the impressive KGF track team and has been posting some of the fastest four kilometer pursuit times in the world; whilst ‘our boy’ Harry was rated number one in the British Cycling road rankings for 2016 and has been picking up some strong results on the road from Scotland to China via France and Belgium as well as doing some nice rides on the track.


We first got to know the 23 year-old from Teeside, England on his racing trips north so Scotland so we kicked off by asking if he’d made many trips north of the border in 2017.
Harry Tanfield:
Yeah, a few, there are good races north of the border and there are not that many good road races in our area – the North West of England. Scottish events like the Dave Campbell Memorial and Anderside Classic are proper good races.


PEZ: And your studies are finished now – so more time for the bike?
Yeah, I’ve graduated but I am continuing studies with a part-time masters’ degree.


PEZ: Second in the Antwerpse Havenpijl, a UCI 1.2, nice result – and strong rides in the likes of the GP Lusien van Impe where you were third.
Yeah, in the Antwerp race Charlie and I broke away and were off the front together for about 15K – that was fun! That race was a war of attrition finally wearing down to five of us clear; the guy who won, Arvid De Kleijn (Bay-Dump Cyclingteam & The Netherlands) is a good rider, he won the U23 Paris-Tours in 2016 and the season closer Putte-Kapellen at the end of 2017.


PEZ: And you’ve been riding well against the watch?
I was fifth in the Nationals; 11th in the Chrono des nations, just behind Sylvain Chavanel and teamed up with Charlie to get fifth in the Duo Normand. Charlie was just off track training so was maybe flagging a wee bit. We’d debated whether to do it or not but it was a good experience to ride it and we know the Duo course for next year if we have a more serious go at it. I had a lot of travel in that period, after the Duo I was off to the Tour of Almaty in Kazakhstan then Hong Kong then back for the Nations before going back to China – there was a lot of jet lag going on!


PEZ: And your first UCI win in China?
Yeah, I had a first and second on stages in the Tour of Quanzhou Bay coming off the back of time I spent on the track. It was UCI 2.2 event; three stages with flat/mountain/flat stages. I won Stage One, it was a massive tailwind, I attacked and stayed away to win it. My team mate Max Stedman won Stage Two – which had a 20 minute climb – to take the lead, then I was second on Stage Three where we had to ride in defence of Max’s jersey. It was a good race for the team, we won two stages, the GC and were first and second overall in the points classification.


PEZ: But what about the team, hasn’t Cycling TV folded?
Yes, but Canyon are continuing and we have another sponsor lined up (Since it’s now ‘on the street’ we can reveal that the team will be known as Canyon-Eisberg, the latter being the UK’s number one alcohol-free wine producer. Former World Team Pursuit Champion, Andy Tennant also joins the squad. ed.)

Harry Tanfield

PEZ: But aren’t you riding for Dan Bigham’s KGF track team in 2018?
Yes, but under UCI rules you can be a member of a UCI Continental Team and a UCI Track team so I’ll be riding with Canyon-Eisberg on the road and KGF on the track.


PEZ: Tell us about your track ambitions.
I rode the track for the first time since 2014 in the British Universities Track Championships; I’d done a 4:39 for a four kilometer pursuit back then but got down to 4:26 for second in the champs, my brother Charlie caught me in the final though. The team rode well in the UCI rack meet in Portugal where Charlie won the individual pursuit and Dan won the kilometer but they didn’t need me there because there was no team pursuit. But I went to Switzerland with them for the Grenchen meet where we rode the team pursuit; the team hadn’t been sure if Johnny Wale would be back in time after breaking his collar bone – but he was, so five of us went out and we won the competition with four minutes dead.


PEZ: How are you adapting to the track?
The start is difficult for me, they’ve been training specifically for it for a year and more whilst I’ve only been back on the track since November. On the start lap I leave a gap for Jake Tipper to drop into which ‘saves’ me a length and then Johnny Wale does his thing for four or five laps. He’s a kilometer rider so doesn’t go full distance, he does what he’s good at. I find I can’t rev like they can at 120 rpm, so I ride a higher gear, three or four inches higher.


PEZ: So how does 2018 look?
We have the next round of the track World Cup competition coming up in Belarus 19th to 21st January then the British Track Champs coming up 26th to 28th January. We’re all training hard for those right now. February sees me off to Spain for a month of warm weather training. The track work should be good for me though – whilst I can sit all day at 300 watts I need to find that extra bit of speed for those fast finishes.


# We wish Harry and his KGF boys every success in Belarus and the Nationals – we’ll be keeping our eye on those results. #


It was November 2005 when Ed Hood first penned a piece for PEZ, on US legend Mike Neel. Since then he’s covered all of the Grand Tours and Monuments for PEZ and has an article count in excess of 1,600 in the archive. He was a Scottish champion cyclist himself – many years and kilograms ago – and still owns a Klein Attitude, Dura Ace carbon Giant and a Fixie. He and fellow Scot and PEZ contributor Martin Williamson run the Scottish site www.veloveritas.co.uk where more of his musings on our sport can be found.

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