Fatigue to blame as Charlie Tanfield misses out on medal in Munich

·3-min read
Tanfield, 25, narrowly missed out on a medal in the individual pursuit in Munich. (Thomas Niedermueller / Munich202)

By Will Jennings in Munich

CHARLIE TANFIELD admits the physical demands of a jam-packed cycling summer got the better of him after missing out on a European medal in Munich.

The Great Ayton star, 25, was denied a spot on the podium by just 1.41s in Saturday night’s individual pursuit bronze medal showdown against Manlio Moro after a third-place finish in qualifying scuppered his hopes of a shot at gold.

Tanfield helped steer England to team pursuit silver at this month’s Commonwealth Games before doing the same with Britain’s stars at the European Championships on Friday night.

He entered Saturday’s individual event with little left in the tank and says not firing on all cylinders hampered his chances.

The five-time European medallist said: “I just fell short and that happens sometimes.

“You can’t be on form all the time - it was a case of just managing it after the team pursuit.

“I was trying to build for the Commonwealth, then we had the Commonwealths and then two weeks in between when you can’t do any training.

“You’re caught in this middle ground where you’ve got some fatigue and you’re not able to back up things as well - that’s what’s just happened.

“Team pursuit was amazing but I’ve just not been able to back it up. I’ve just got more tired and tired, put in some big rides in the team pursuit and it’s just taken a toll on me.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t take my chance but it wasn’t to be.”

Tanfield, who finished third in qualifying behind German Nicolas Heinrich and Italian Davide Plebani, added: “The toughest thing to take was not getting in the gold and silver race.

“I just missed out and that was hard to take.

“I came here to try and win a jersey and fell short.

“I didn’t quite do as good a performance as I’ve done in in previous races – but I knew I wasn’t properly firing.”

Tanfield studied at Teesside University before moving to Derby in 2017 when he and his friends set up an amateur cycling team called KGF.

They lowered the colours of the British academy at the National Championships before rapidly making a name for themselves on the World Cup stage.

Tanfield pivoted all his attention towards cycling when the British team came calling and grabbed a memorable World Championship gold in the team pursuit in 2018.

Silver and bronze followed in 2019 and 2021 – either side of an Olympic appearance in Tokyo as a reserve rider – and after this summer’s busy schedule, the North Yorkshire star will now take a break and look to regroup ahead of October’s World Championships in France.

He added: “I’ll take a week off, let my body and mind reset and then I’ll be onto the road and use that as preparation towards the Worlds.

“We’re all in for that.

“I’ve seen major improvements in my physical ability recently and it just goes to show if you work well as a team, then improvement do come.

“We’ll keep on fighting all the way.”

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