Tour de Yorkshire: Harry Tanfield committed to making gains on his rivals

For a rider as laid back as Harry Tanfield, it goes against the grain that he should be synonymous with winning jerseys for most aggressive rider.

Harry Tanfield last year won the Tour de Yorkshire's Digital Jersey for being the "most active" rider on day two of the race. Picture: James Hardisty

Yet that is exactly the conflict going on inside the 23-year-old from Great Ayton.

Off the bike he is chilled out, unflappable, often late for meetings. On it he is driven, always looking for aero gains and a slave to testing, all of which is adding up to him being quite the formidable cyclist.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This season alone he has won a gold medal at a Track World Cup event in Minsk, when he and his fellow upstarts at amateur outfit Team KGF defeated national squads to win the team pursuit title.

Then, last month, he went to Australia and won a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games time-trial.

“I wasn’t even watching the clock,” he says, when reflecting on his Gold Coast silver. “If I had I might have got even closer.”

Together with his younger brother Charlie he is making waves in the cycling world. The KGF project based in Derby where Harry was based with his brother has developed its own version of ‘marginal gains’ through the kit they use, which brought it to the attention of British Cycling with that gold medal in Minsk.

While Charlie looks to build on a track career that was boosted when he won silver in the team pursuit with England in Australia and gold in the individual, Harry remains very much a cyclist for all seasons.

OH BROTHER: England's Charlie Tanfield celebrates setting a new games record in the Men's 4000m Individual Pursuit at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

So much so that he enters the Tour de Yorkshire with only five days of road racing under his belt in 2018.

But he arrives at his home race eager to animate it just as he did 12 months ago when he was named ‘most aggressive rider’ for his performance on stage two.

“Last year was mega getting the jersey and wearing it on the final day,” said the Canyon Eisberg rider.

“I’ve got stage one, two or three to have a dabble at it this year. But I also want to have a crack at the sprint as well just for the hell of it.

“I’ll try and spoil Mark Cavendish’s party. Or in the least try and get (Canyon Eisberg team-mate) Chris Opie into position. It’s very hard in the sprints because the big teams have big lead-out teams.

“Chris will have to piggie-back off the lead-out train and freestyle from there. I’ll just try and hang around.”