Feature Interview: Andy Tennant (Canyon Eisberg)

A rider expected to feature in the Tour of Britain is Andy Tennant of Canyon Eisberg who was 11th recently in a UCI 1.1 in Holland won by super sprinter Dylan Groenewegen

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Feature Interview: Andy Tennant (Canyon Eisberg)

A rider expected to feature in the Tour of Britain is Andy Tennant of Canyon Eisberg who was 11th recently in a UCI 1.1 in Holland won by super sprinter Dylan Groenewegen. Andy has been in the mix in the sprints this year and when asked how he switches from domestic racing mode to pro racing mode, he replied “being with Canyon Esiberg, we’re lucky in that we have had racing in Belgium and Holland so that makes life a bit easier”.

Two weeks ago Andy was celebrating a win in the Newport Nocturne and his weight in beer….

… but on Sunday, he was putting in a lot of hard yards in the rain, effective ones too, chasing down the break

“The high quality racing like Veenendaal which Groenewegen won, that was a good sign for me showing that the legs are good. There isn’t much racing like that on the British calendar; the odd prem and a lot of crits which don’t set you up that well for the Tour of Britain and an 8 day stage race. So we’re always on the back foot against the pros so we have to explore opportunities abroad and we’re lucky we get them with this team”.

Asked what ambitions he has for the Tour of Britain, Andy replied, “I have no GC ambitions at all and it’s about getting up the road, getting the jersey out there and hoping that one day is the one the break sticks because the peloton miscalculate like they did at Sandringham and Norfolk etc.”

Andy, who’s ridden almost ten editions of the race added “I had more ambition for GC back in the early days more because of being naïve whereas now I know that is definitely not going to happen! The goals evolve depending on the team I’m with. This year we have Max (Stedman) for GC for example where as other years with GB, we’ve had GC riders but other years, we’ve had the likes of Roger Hammond who can win stages so we did our best to help him. So my role in the race is more about the team and those around me rather than me and my ambitions”.

His team manager Tim Elverson however has said that on the stages where the race is expected to be a sprint, Andy will be a protected rider so how does Andy feel about his sprint? “I can sprint relatively well and have done that this year by riding the road more.”

“You have to be able to do that to be a team pursuiter. Ed Clancy is probably the fastest sprinter in the world but you also have to get to the end of a 200k bike race and do it. If he did that, he’d be a very rich man!”

“So I can sprint but it’s about not smashing my sugar lump to pieces before getting to the finish and over time I have developed skills to hide away from the wind and it will be interesting this winter to get in more road work to increase my endurance as well get into the gym for some sprint work and not have the distraction of the track which used to be my main focus”.

“Now with road the main focus, I can try and get myself to sprint quicker and stronger and get to the line a bit fresher and that should mean more wins – that’s the aim anyway!”
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The talk this year is about how much harder the course is but the course is only as hard as you race it and if the race is under control by the big teams, those days can be easier I put to Andy?

“Sometimes a super hard course ends up being an easier day because everyone is scared of it so it can be the medium days that are worse because those are the racing days and you know they will be hard whereas on super hard days, they’ll let the break go quickly because everyone wants an easy day.”

“The parcour this year is hilly most days so they will have to race it so it will be a case of sitting in, grovelling and suffering, especially for me. I’ll be trying to keep in touch with that front end but you know if the split goes on a climb, the chances of me getting in it are quiet slim. I’ll have to go well into the red to make the split I expect”.

“But, if I can get over the climbs, and I am climbing relatively well, I’ll look at the sprint. But first and foremost it’s about getting into the breaks. With such a hard parcour, some of the sprinters will decide it’s not worth going with splits so that will move me up the rankings of sprinters so who knows.”

Finally, we all see the breaks go in races but watching it is one thing, trying to get in the dam thing is quite another as Andy explains. “Everyone seems to think getting in a break is simple but if I make one break in eight days, I’ll be impressed with myself!”

“Sometimes it can be the first move that goes and you’ll kick yourself and ask why didn’t I go with it and then sometimes, like the race in Belgium recently where a move did not stick until we’d done a160 kilometres in a 200k bike race! I’ve found that 99 per cent of the time, the break that sticks is one that goes after the one you’ve been in is brought back!”

Good luck to Andy who is looking forward to the race and then some down time afterwards with his stag do where before the road training will come some practice at ‘drinking’… As the recent winner of his weight in beer at the Newport Nocturne, he should have plenty of that to practice with …2016_ShuttVeloRapideAdvert


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