Our latest podcast episode features an exclusive interview with Harry Tanfield.
Harry has signed for Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling in what might well be one of the transfer coups of the close season.
He has just spent the last two years competing at the World Tour level, first for Katusha Alpecin and then for AG2R La Mondiale. In many ways, it’s been a challenging period for the 25-year-old from Great Ayton. His first year about adjusting to the top tier of the sport and then, just as he was beginning to find his feet, the news dropped that his Katusha Alpecin team was folding. AG2R swooped in to rescue his World Tour career, offering him a one-year deal. But confined to a domestique role this season, and with the calendar severely interrupted, Harry has had few opportunities to prove himself. And when AG2R declined to renew his contract, he was left searching for a team once again.
In a tough contract year, his hunt for a World Tour or Pro Conti deal wasn’t looking hopeful. Then in stepped Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling. It’s a team Harry knows well – he’s competed with and against many of their riders. And with a solid UCI race programme being planned for next season – coronavirus permitting – the team can offer Harry a platform to return to the highest levels of the sport, much in the same way as James Shaw and Scott Thwaites did after their stints at Continental level in 2019. What’s more, the team has agreed they will let Harry move to a bigger team should he get a better offer over the next few months.
Harry is no stranger to the domestic scene of course. He spent a year with JLT Condor and then three years with Tim Elverson’s Canyon team before stepping up to the World Tour. Arguably his most memorable moment during that spell was winning Stage 1 of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire when he became the first UK rider (and the first rider from Yorkshire) to win a stage of the race.
Our interview with Harry took place just a week after he’d finished the Vuelta, his first Grand Tour, an experience Harry recounts in detail. He also told us about his reputation for missing the start of races, how he felt about not getting his contract renewed this season, the lessons he’s learnt after two years in the World Tour, the adjustment it might take to race again at the Continental level again, his plans to work on his sprint finish for 2021, and why he’s missed domestic-level racing.
Featured photo: Dean Reeves / Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling