Cycling ace Tanfield motivated to spoil German party

·3-min read
Feature during the CYCLING TRACK - MEN'S SPRINT QUALIFYING at Messe during the European Championships 2022 on August 13, 2022, in Munich, Germany. Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / Munich2022 (Feature during the CYCLING TRACK - MEN'S SPRINT QUALIFYING a (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / Munich2)

By Will Jennings in Munich

Charlie Tanfield says the prospect of silencing the raucous German crowd hauled Britain’s team pursuit stars over the line as they bagged a brilliant European bronze in Munich.

The Great Ayton cycling star, 25, joined forces with Rhys Britton, Kian Emadi, William Tidball and Oliver Wood to topple the hosts of the multi-sports championships and battle his way onto the podium.

One of the historic city’s halls has been transformed into a futuristic velodrome and the home crowd roared their nation on to women’s gold as Tanfield, a 2019 European champion and two-time silver medallist, waited in the wings.

The British team were then pushed to their limit but Tanfield says experiencing the atmosphere intensified his appetite for success.

Asked whether beating the host nation in their own backyard made him more determined, the three-time Commonwealth Games medallist said: “Yes, it did.

“I could hear the crowd getting behind the women before us, and that geed me up a bit. I was loving it.

“We beat them in the first round and in the second round they beat us – but I thought we could have them.

“To see them in the corner of my eye at the finish there, I knew we could have them and thought it would be good to do that.

“I felt really good with that – there was a long stint at the back end there.

“As soon as they got in my eyeline, I was just thinking ‘hold them off, hold them off.’

“We managed to keep them at the end and I’m really happy with the team performance.

“We pulled it together in the end to get a bronze, which is positive.”

Britain’s new-look team pursuit stars only joined forces after the Commonwealth Games but have hit it off immediately at these Munich multi-sport Championships.

Spearheaded by Tanfield and Wood – who both won Commonwealth silver for England – they clicked to qualify on Thursday before losing to Italy in the Friday afternoon heats to dash their hopes of a gold medal.

That teed up a bronze medal tussle with the hosts and Tanfield’s team held their nerve to battle over the line with a gutsy display.

It’s just two years until the Paris Olympic Games roll around and Tanfield hopes they can start laying down consistent markers in the velodrome.

He added: “It was a bit of an open mindset this week - we weren’t really expecting anything here to be honest.

“It’s a new line up in this competition and anything was a bonus podium-wise.

“To get a bronze is good – we did well as a team to gel so quickly and to get a bronze is mad.

“We are in the early stages and it’s two years to go, but we’ve got a good squad behind us.

“I’m liking the environment as well – I’m a big believer that breeds success.

“We’ll keep on going and be all in for Paris, there’s no doubt about that.”

The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rowing, Sport Climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the Germany city. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website.