Harry Tanfield has spoken of his excitement at the prospect of racing alongside Chris Opie after signing for new British professional cycling team BIKE Channel Canyon.
The 22-year-old, from Great Ayton, has joined the UCI Continental outfit, along with eight of his team-mates from last season’s Pedal Heaven set-up.
Tanfield is excited by the talented 15-man line-up and reckons they have all the ingredients to deliver success – both domestically and on the continent.
The Teesside University student said: “I’m really excited for the 2017 season with BIKE Channel Canyon.
“Coming from the Pedal Heaven team, I know we have a great group of guys and I think we will work very well as a unit.
“With the programme covering races in both the UK and Europe, I’m really looking forward to some of the bigger UCI events, such as Tour de Yorkshire and Tour of Britain. They would be my primary goals for the year. I am looking forward to working with someone like Chris, too.
“In the bigger races, where maybe me and Chris are still there at the end, I’d love to be supporting him to the finish line where he can win.”
Opie, one of Britain’s finest sprinters, has made the move from ONE Pro Cycling, George Atkins has crossed over from JLT Condor, while Rob Partridge and James Lowsley-Williams have arrived from NFTO.
The eight riders formerly with the Pedal Heaven set-up are Rory Townsend, Dexter Gardias, Jack Pullar, Max Stedman, Joe Fry, Mitchell Webber, Mirfield’s Jake Womersley and Alex Richardson.
Womersley is delighted to be able to continue his professional development at BIKE Channel Canyon.
He said: “I am really happy to spend another year under the guidance of Tim and Simon but with the new team BIKE Channel Canyon.
“I like how they work on race day and I am looking forward to experiencing bigger races, such as the Tour de Yorkshire.
“The 2017 route comes past my house, so it would be great to be involved.”
Womersley is the grandson of Brian Robinson, who was the first Briton to finish the Tour de France (1955) and the first to win a stage in 1958 before repeating the feat 12 months later.
His sister, Becky Womersley, rides for leading UK-based UCI women’s team Drops Cycling.
And the squad is made up by Sam Lowe, formerly of Team Wiggins, and Sheffield Hallam student Matt Nowell, who will step up from the Wheelbase team.
Nowell, 20, said: “The move to BIKE Channel Canyon is a big step for me but it is 100 per cent in the direction I want to be going and I’m ready for the challenge.
“When I initially spoke to Tim (Elverson, sports director) and he told me about this project he was building, I was instantly hooked and really excited for what was to come.
“When the team met for the first time and I met all the lads and staff, I just had that feeling deep down this was something special.
“Just chatting to the guys while we were there and how everyone got on you could tell everyone was feeling the same.
“There are so many opportunities ahead with this team but, in particular, I’m looking to improve on previous performances at the Tour Series and Elite Circuit Series.
“Then I would like to look towards the bigger under-23 road races abroad and Premier Calendars with the team - when I hope to assist in overall results and earn some of my own.
“Maybe, just maybe, if the form is good I’d like to have a crack at the Ras and the Tour of Yorkshire.
“But there is a lot of work to be done between now and then!”
Follow BIKE Channel Canyon’s progress on social media, via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and on the race team’s official website www.bikechannelcanyon.co.uk