Q&A: Charlie Tanfield (Adept Precision RT)


Part of a family of star cyclists in the North East, Junior Charlie Tanfield is racing for a new team in 2014, Adept Precision RT

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Those in the North East will be well aware of the Tanfield clan and a youngster who is looking to continue to make a name for himself in the sport is junior Charlie Tanfield. The new signing for Adept Precision RT has been road racing competitively for around five or so years now. Here is his Q & A

Do you have a favourite discipline & why?
Charlie: I definitely enjoy road racing the most, however I do enjoy a good 10 mile time trial. I think the road racing though just edges ahead because there’s that much variety and tactics in road racing.

What has been the highlight of 2013 for you?
Charlie: 2013 was a difficult year for me. I was bugged with illnesses and injury however towards the end of the season I started to get into it more. I think the highlight of the year was in the Mike Binks Memorial road race where I got into the break and stayed away.

Which race has been the best one (most fun) to do?
Charlie: Every race I enter is good fun so it’s hard to say which one I enjoyed the most. Maybe stage 5 of the Tour of Wales as it was the most demanding race I’ve done so far.

Do you coach yourself or have a coach to help structure your training?
Charlie: I coach and structure training myself although I do get some guidance from my older brother and I like to read books on the subject. I’m always open to pointers from people willing to help and I’m sure my new team will help me out also.

How many hours a week would you train on and off the bike?
Charlie: Every week is different, this time of the year I like to get some good, solid endurance miles in, then as the off season continues, I up the intensity.

Do you tend to train alone or in a chain gang?
Charlie: I mainly train alone or with my brother (Harry). Anymore than two and you have to stop too much as the chances of mechanicals increases. There’s positives and negatives for both but during the winter I think it’s best to train alone for the majority of the time.

Do you work full time/part time
Charlie: I’m still at college so most of my time is took up with school work. I sometimes get out when it’s light but other times I’m forced to train afterwards when it’s dark, so some good bike lights are needed!

What is the best thing about racing bikes?
Charlie: The best thing about racing bikes is definitely the rush you get at the end of a race when you’ve given it everything and the satisfaction of accomplishment.

And what is the one thing you enjoy least?
Charlie: Riding on muddy roads, They get my bike filthy and in my opinion are pretty dangerous, so I try to avoid them as best as I can.

If you could change one of your weaknesses into a strength, which one would it be?
Charlie: I’m not sure, maybe my climbing, but everyone’s different and we’ve all got good and bad points, it also depends on the event as every race is different.

What type of bike do you ride and what type of groupset/wheels does it have?
Charlie: For this season I’ll be riding a Scott Foil with Dura Ace mechanical group set courtesy of the team’s sponsor Westbrook cycles. It’s a really nice ride and seems strong and light with the benefits of the aero tubing that suits my riding style. As for the wheels, I change them depending on what I can get but mainly race on a pair of Mavic Ksyrium SLS. They’re a nice set of all round wheels.

Are you ‘geeky’ when it comes to the equipment on the bike?
Charlie: I wouldn’t say I’m ‘geeky’ – more sensible. For example, I have added an aero rap on my helmet as it has been proven to save watts, so why not?

What will you be doing training wise during the winter?
Charlie: Training wise, I make my training as structured as possible however I don’t have a coach so I make my own plan.

Will you race at all in the winter?
Charlie: Possibly, but any race I do will not be a target for me so I won’t be that bothered about the outcome. It’s nice to keep the competitive spirit going so you can gauge where you are fitness wise.

Do you have a specific winter training bike — mudguards or none?
Charlie: I ride a Dolan Proffesio winter frame with full mudguards. Not the lightest, but it keeps my bike cleanish and does the job.

What is the one thing outside of pedalling the bike that you feel you need to learn to be a better bike rider?
Charlie: I think I could maybe improve my organisation slightly. I have improved it a lot over the past season but I think structure is the key to make things works smoothly.

Do you try and get away from the weather here and go abroad for a winter training camp? If so, where do you like to go most.
Charlie: I really wanted to in 2013 but due to college commitments it wasn’t feasible. However I’ve organised to go to Spain, Algorfa for a week in the holidays.

When do you expect to start racing in 2014?
Charlie: My season officially starts on the 23rd March. It’s the first of the junior national series, I can’t wait to get racing again in the season.

What are the races you are looking forward to most in 2014?
Charlie: There’s a great calendar for juniors this year including a junior CiCLE classic which I’m sure will be a very good race. I’m probably most looking forward to that as it suits my riding style.

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