Harry Tanfield has found a last minute WorldTour contract, after initially planning to step down to Continental level with Ribble-Weldtite.
The 26-year-old, who has been a WorldTour rider for two seasons, found himself on the search for a new team at the end of 2020 as Ag2r La Mondiale opted not to extend his contract.
According to Cycling News, Tanfield is believed to be joining Qhubeka-Assos, formerly NTT Pro Cycling, but the team has not yet made an official announcement.
But it looked like Tanfield may join the dozens of other riders forced to step down from cycling’s highest level, in a very tough year on the contract market.
Tanfield did manage to find a ride for 2021 with British Continental squad Ribble-Weldtite, with the team saying they would help him back back to the WorldTour.
On Wednesday morning (December 2) Ribble announced that Tanfield had now found a WorldTour ride for 2021 and that he would be making the move back up sooner than expected.
The team said: “Ribble-Weldtite Pro Cycling is pleased to report that Harry Tanfield has secured a position in the WorldTour. Our objectives as a team are to create a secure platform to give all our riders the opportunity to perform and progress.
“We were always looking to support Harry to step back up, and we are delighted that this has happened a bit sooner than expected. The team have actively assisted in ensuring Harry was able to pursue any WorldTour leads.”
Tanfield initially joined the WorldTour with Katusha-Alpecin, stepping up from Canyon-Eisberg in 2019.
But as Katusha merged with Israel Start-Up Nation at the end of 2019, Tanfield was left without a contract, before eventually securing a place with French squad Ag2r.
At the end of 2020, Ag2r had a major shake-up of its roster as it has found a new headline sponsor and once again Tanfield was without a ride.
Tanfield said: “I can’t thank the team at Ribble-Weldtite enough, they provided assurances and security to enable me to race in 2021 and have been 100 per cent supportive in working with me and my new team to enable this transition as efficiently as possible.
“I wish the team all the best for the 2021 season.”