Harry Tanfield sets sights on national time-trial championships after Stevenage Tour Series win
PUBLISHED: 08:23 29 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:38 29 May 2018
Harry Tanfield roared round the Stevenage streets to claim a second solo Ovo Energy Tour Series victory in three days – and in his eyes it was perfect preparation for his tilt at the national time-trial championships.
The Great Ayton man was part of a six-man breakaway that got clear midway through the event around Stevenage Old Town before taking his leave of his fellow escapees and time-trialling his way to victory.
It followed a similar success at Aberystwyth on Saturday and with his Canyon Eisberg team-mates producing the goods in the main field behind, taking the overall lead in the series itself, it capped a perfect night all round.
But Tanfield who, thanks to a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games as well as a stage win and leaders jersey in the Tour de Yorkshire, is already having a stellar year, the next big prize on the horizon is the national championships.
Speaking to CometSport he said: “It was good TT training as well although I seemed to be doing a lot of laps and thought the five laps to go board was never going to come.
“I felt comfortable, I wasn’t dying, I was riding within myself and I was still putting time into them.
“I’ve got to keep the load on for the national time-trial championship.
“Don’t get me wrong; this matters but the national TT matters more.”
Because the winning break contained one rider from each of the main teams, the main peloton allowed them to go and they eventually came round to lap them.
And it was as the break passed the bunch that Tanfield made his move.
He said: “I was in a good position because I knew I could beat some of the guys in there. I wasn’t with the five strongest guys in the peloton so it was worth my while to make it stick.
“The One Pro guy rammed it for at least two laps [before we got back to the bunch] as he thought he could sneak off the front.
“It can happen but we all stuck together and after he did that, I hit him on the back straight as hard as I could and got a gap.
“And I just thought give it three laps full gas and see what happens.
“It was do or die for six laps. They were chasing together behind but if they don’t make any headway in those laps, nobody wants to commit and spend their energy.”
And he admitted the course played its part once he got a gap on his own.
“It’s a hard one to get away on, it’s nice when you do, but to get away is hard,” he admitted.
“You have to rely on those behind letting you get clear, you can’t get away on brute force alone. It’s impossible.
“I knew that from last year but it was pretty straight-forward to be fair.”
Earlier the notoriously fast circuit saw Anna Henderson of Team OnForm claim the win in the women’s race.
She got her nose in front in the final dash for the line and called it a “sufferfest” afterwards.
She said: “It was hard and fast, just a powerfest out there and all the teams were throwing in attacks and you just had to follow wheels and see what happens.
“We had a few plans coming in because we didn’t know how it would pan out. Everybody had their strong teams and fortunately it came down to a bunch sprint and we came out on top.
“It’s one of the shortest [circuits] but it’s probably one of the hardest because it’s so fast.
“It was non-stop, I think my heartrate was up over 190bpm all the time.
“It was just a sufferfest all the way round but it’s a fun sufferfest; you love it and you want to come back for more.”