Feature Interviews: Tanfield Brother’s Games Experience

At the Klondike GP, we got to speak to two riders who came back from Australia with Commonwealth Games medals, Charlie and Harry Tanfield

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Feature Interviews: Tanfield Brother’s Games Experience

Back in the country after a successful Commonwealth Games, the Tanfield Brothers, Harry and Charlie (both riding for Canyon Eisberg), are now looking ahead to the road in 2018. At the weekend, they were at the Klondike GP, their home race, starting just a few miles from where they live.

In Australia, Charlie won Silver and Gold (Team Pursuit/Individual Pursuit) as well as 8th in the TT whilst Harry won a Silver in the time trial. At the Klondike GP, the medals came out to show the media and public and both agreed that the Games had been a great experience.

Charlie Tanfield
“It went as well as I hoped it would” Charlie explained. “The main goal was the Worlds and we delivered for that and in the Team Pursuit at the Commys, the Aussies were going so strong, we knew it would be a tall order to beat them so to finish second, we are not that disappointed.”

“The Individual pursuit went perfectly and I managed to hold on for those two laps at the end and I’m getting closer to that world record so hopefully in time, I can get it.”

Charlie added that outside the competition, life for the athletes was a really good one. “Afterwards, we had six days to mooch around and I really enjoyed it. It was a bit surreal in the village; there’s this community spirit from people around the world with different food and live music and I really loved it.”

The last few months have been a whirlwind for Charlie and we hadn’t seen him since before the World Championships where he won his first rainbow jersey. Standing on the podium he says was a surreal experience. “It (winning) just happened and I felt numb on the podium because I didn’t think about anything after the race and was just really happy to have that jersey, something I will have forever.”

The day before Klondike, Charlie and Harry attended a reception by their home village of Great Ayton which was something he wasn’t expecting. “They told us they wanted to put on a home coming party and I thought 10 or 15 people would turn up with family and friends but most of the village was there so it was outrageous. The mayor was there and other ViPs and so many people wishing us good luck. It was great to have all the family there and to see my friends after such a long time away”.

Finally, what now for Charlie? “I want to try and win the British TT champs on the road and if that goes well, do the Worlds U23 ones too.” Looking longer ahead, Charlie also has his eyes on the Olympics in 2020. “It’s getting closer, and to go there would be something off the bucket list. There are not many of them left now having won a World title and Commonwealth Games title so next is the Olympics and at some point, the Hour record would be good to do during my career”.

Charlie then admitted the success he is having is surreal and amazing at the same time and we wish him well in his remaining goals for 2018.

Harry Tanfield
Standing next to his brother was Harry, who won a Silver in the Time Trial in the Commonwealth Games and next up, has the Tour of Yorkshire. To begin with, we asked what it’s like to stand on the podium of a race like the Tour of Yorkshire? “It doesn’t get much better than that really” says Harry.

“That was a big highlight from last year for sure, in Harrogate as well which is just down the road from home. It was mega that”. Asked what it was like to wear a jersey as well on the final stage of the race, he replied “that was pretty good too even though I wasn’t on local roads. I was there to do a job for Max and I was pretty ruined that day but having the jersey on my back, I had to honour it and surprised I lasted until the last 20k of that stage”.

Harry and his Canyon Eisberg teammate Max Stedman have looked at stage 2 of the Tour of Yorkshire and he says the summit finish is more of a berg than a mountain and remembers riding over it in previous stages.

He explained how he expects the pros to be big ringing the climb until they hit the steep part and then added his teammate Max put a minute into him on the climb and is hoping Max will do a good ride on it. Harry’s job he says will be to try and get Max to the bottom of the climb at or near the front …

Looking back at the Commonwealth Games, Harry explained how it was a great experience and holiday as well. “I had never been to the Gold Coast before so that was good and I got some good training in there outside of the races on different roads and was able to see a part of the world I would not normally get to see.”

Asked how the Time Trial was, starting by making sure he had all his gears LoL, which Harry confirmed he did (Harry rode the Tour of Britain TT stuck in one gear), the silver medallist added he backed out of having a massive chain ring because of how lumpy the course was.

“I wanted to have a 39 inner chain ring because it was that hilly. There was a 40 second drag on the way out, a two minute climb in the middle that had a really horrible steep bit on it, then a one minute steep climb and the drag again. Overall, there was quite a bit of elevation gain.”

Harry then explained how winner Cameron Meyer put the time Harry lost by into him over the first thirteen kilometres, the flattest part of the TT. “He must have gone out real hard because even on the hilly sections, he only put a few seconds into me.”

With so little racing here in the UK pre Games, Harry says he didn’t have a clue how it was going to go or what he was capable of. In training, the power was good but the heat there after riding in ten degrees here, you don’t know how you’re going to respond to the heat. We were fortunate that the TT day was a few degrees cooler than the other days.”

“I rode on feel and quite conservatively on the way out. I put big power out and then did the last 40 seconds stupidly hard, like 600 watts, so I had something left in the tank.”

To return to the first question, and standing on a podium, I asked Harry how it felt to stand on the podium at the Games? “It was great. It was a shame mum and dad could not be there to see it as they were so tight on security, if you didn’t have the accreditation, you didn’t get nowhere.”

Harry finished by saying he just wants to get some racing now saying after Drenth in Holland, a race at Prissick (Middlesbrough) and of course the Games TT, he doesn’t feel he’s raced. “You need those hard four or five hour races just to get the legs there.”

One has the feeling Harry will get his wish in the Tour of Yorkshire this week!

Thank you to Harry and Charlie for the chat ….





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