Communiqué – 2 December

Joe Hudson delivers yet another comprehensive roundup of the latest domestic racing news

Christmas is almost upon us, and the international cyclocross season is in (mostly) full swing, which means transfers and new signings are the order of the day!

With so much activity going on, we don’t blame you for missing some of it. Handily, we’ve rounded it all up for you and deposited it below.

Featured photo: Zac Williams/ 2019 UCI Road World Championships – Yorkshire, England – Team Time Trial Mixed Relay – Harry Tanfield before the TTT.

Breaking news

Harry Tanfield to stay in the World Tour

The news broke this morning that Harry Tanfield has secured a position in a WorldTour team, just over two weeks after signing a deal to ride with Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling. Tanfield looked set to spend a year at UCI Continental level after his AG2R La Mondiale did not renew his contract. However, The British Continental understands that he has now signed a deal with Assos Qhubeka [now confirmed].

Harry said in our podcast interview with him that his deal with Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling would allow him to exit his contract early if an offer from the WorldTour came, although he probably didn’t expect one to arrive quite so soon.

About his move, Harry said, “I can’t thank the team at Ribble Weldtite enough, they provided assurances and security to enable me to race in 2021, and have been 100% supportive in working with me and my new team to enable this transition as efficiently as possible. I wish the team all the best for the 2021 season.” Kudos to Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling for being so flexible and supportive.

Team news

Black Cyclists Network sets out squad plans for 2021

The Black Cyclists Network is targeting an eventual rise to Continental level for its newly formed team, as the outfit sets out plans for where it will compete next year.

Speaking to Cycling News, the network’s founder Mani Arthur said that – despite COVID – planning has been going full speed for a comprehensive programme for 2021.

Red Walters. Photo: Matthew Downie

He said: “We are aiming to kick the season off with a training camp for the BCN racing team in Malaga in mid-March. The aim is to focus on the National Criterium B races and support races for the Tour Series and we want to do as many crits as we can get to during the season. We’re already looking at events around London, and some in Sheffield and Newcastle later in the year.”

The aim for the programme is for the nine-strong team to continue developing talented riders with the eventual aim of moving up to UCI Continental level while still supporting clubs across the UK.

CAMS-Tifosi confirms roster with new additions

CAMS-Tifosi has unveiled its squad for next year, with a number of new faces joining the already established roster for the UCI Continental Team.

With just two riders leaving – Grace Garner and Charmaine Porter both deciding to hang up their helmets and retire – the three new riders mean the team will be 13-strong next year.

Photo: CAMS-Tifosi

The new additions include Commonwealth Games Bronze medalist Hayley Simmonds – also a podium finisher at the National Individual Time Trial last year – Kate Wootton, and Emma Edwards who has moved to the UK from the USA.

The rest of CAMS-Tifosi’s line up is: Rebecca Durrell, Jo Tindley, Megan Barker, Natalie Grinczer, Jess Finney, Katie Scott, Illi Gardner, Gaby Shaw, Clover Murray and Jenny Powell.

Cycling Sheffield confirms 2021 riders

Cycling Sheffield has confirmed its new look roster for the coming year with a number of new names being brought in as a handful of riders depart for pastures new.

Kieran Savage warming up at the 2019 Klondike GP. Photo: James York

One of the most notable arrivals is one of The British Continental’s ace contributors, James McKay, who moves across from the Team PB Performance outfit. Also joining is top under-23 talent George Wood, as well as Will Harding and Billy Robinson. They’re joining Joe Clark and Matthew Taylor, who have resigned.

Leaving the team is up-and-coming talent Kieran Savage who is moving across the channel to join Vélo Club Corbas in France. Also deciding to depart are Matthew Dobbing, Nathan Smith, and Julian Varley.

New name for Canyon dhb

The Canyon dhb p/b Soreen team will have a – slightly – new name for 2021 as the squad confirms a new partnership with sunglasses firm SunGod. The team will now be known as Canyon dhb SunGod. Soreen will stay on as a sponsor.

The team will be making sponsor and squad announcements later this week.

Rider News

Under-23s on the move

A pair of young riders have taken to the Continent to continue their developments with European squads as they look ahead to next year.

First, one of The British Continental’s under-23 riders to watch in 2019 – Stuart Balfour – is on the move to the Swiss Racing Academy. The move caps a good year for the Dave Rayner Fund-supported rider, who took second in the GC at the Tour du Pays de Montbéliard and seventh overall at Le Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc when he was riding for Bourg-en-Bresse Ain Cyclisme.

George Mills-Keeling wins the 2020 Severn Bridge Road Race. Photo: Nick Phipps Photography

Also moving is George Mills-Keeling. The second-year under-23 has had an equally positive year, taking a win at the Severn Bridge Road Race to go with his second place at the Junior Tour of Wales in 2019. Mills-Keeling is moving from Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling to AVC Aix-en-Provence to continue his own development. Mills-Keeling’s Irish Ribble Weldtite teammate Kevin McCambridge will also join the French squad.

Holdsworth-Zappi pair head across the channel

Holdsworth-Zappi riders Paul Double and Paul Wright are heading to Italy for 2021 as the pair have both signed for Italian Continental-level team MGKVis-VPM.

Double is moving on from the team after a disrupted one-year campaign which featured fourth overall at the Tour of Bulgaria – and second in the Mountains Classification – while 22-year-old Wright finished 11th at the same tour, as well as taking part in the Baby Giro in more of a domestique role.

Ribble Weldtite pull off Gibson signing coup

Harry Tanfield may represent one failed coup for Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, but they have pulled off another with the signing of fast man Matt Gibson.

The Brit had been riding with Burgos BH, but after a quiet campaign in 2020 – disrupted by COVID – he’s moved to the British squad with the hope of getting a fuller programme for 2021 and getting the results he needs to jump back up to cycling’s higher ranks.

2019 HSBC UK Men’s National Circuit Series – Otley Grand Prix, Yorkshire, England – Matt Gibson. Photo: Alex Whitehead/

Read more about Gibson in our interview with him from 2018, just as he came to the end of a two-year stint with JLT Condor before moving to Burgos BH as a neo-pro.

To keep track of all the team and transfer news:

  • This page captures all of the men’s domestic transfers and renewals involving UCI-level and foreign elite teams
  • This page provides an overview of the squads for men’s domestic teams, UCI and elite level. Similar pages for women’s and junior teams are in development
  • This page logs all of the women’s domestic transfers and renewals involving UCI-level and foreign elite teams.

Race News

Brits dominate at latest Cyclocross World Cup

The British team put itself on top in the latest Cyclocross World Cup round in Tabor with triumphs in a number of categories.

Claiming the first ever victory in the Junior Women race, Zoe Bäckstedt added to her multiple national crowns with an impressive display on a pretty tricky course in the Czech Republic.

There was also success in the Under-23 Men race as Thomas Mein defended his win from the same venue last year with a 31-second victory over fellow Brit Ben Turner, who edged ahead of Ivan Feijoo Alberte on a sprint to the line to ensure a one-two for Great Britain. A bit further down the order, Toby Barnes took eighth.

In the Women’s Elite race, Anna Kay took a battling ninth overall which was also good enough for third in the under-23 category in what was a combined race for the Women.

The British Continental store is open!

Based on Greg Trowman’s brilliant original designs, we’re really pleased to reveal we now have a new range of logo t-shirts – and sweatshirts too – available through our very own store. All the proceeds from sales we make will go straight back into making The British Continental as good as we can possibly make it.