On Saturday he had a view from the other side of the fence, stepping on to the podium as most aggressive rider on the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire.
The grey jersey is awarded to the day’s “most active” competitor and is decided through a vote on social media. Tanfield, from Great Ayton, received the prize in front of his home crowd after featuring in a breakaway which led for much of the 122.5km route from Tadcaster.
The escape group also included Doncaster’s Connor Swift (of the Madison Genesis team) and James Gullen (JLT Condor), from Scarborough, along with Spaniard Sebastian Mora Vedri (Raleigh GAC).
They were caught with around 21 kilometres to go, when Tanfield later admitted he “ran out of legs” and he rolled in 116th, four minutes 34 seconds behind winner Nacer Bouhanni. With the entire race being televised live, Tanfield’s status in the break ensured maximum publicity for his team, Bike Channel Canyon and sponsors. He admitted to being “in a world of pain” as he and his companions battled to establish a gap over the rest of the field, but insisted it -– and the agonising final few kilometres – was well worthwhile.
“It was a good, hard day out,” he reflected after climbing off the podium. “This is pretty close to me, especially at Masham.
“I sometimes go through there on club rides on a weekend. My parents were at the finish and I could hear people calling my name all the way round.”
Bouhanni (Cofidis) team, sprinted clear to pip Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott). Consolation for Ewan, after a second successive runners-up placing, was the overall lead.