Non-BC riders Tanfield and Bigham aim to break decade-long trend with World Champs selection

Dan Bigham and Charlie Tanfield would be the first riders outside of the British Cycling programme to be selected for a World Championships for 10 years

Dan Bigham at the 2017 National Track Championships in Manchester
(Image credit: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com)

Team KGF riders Charlie Tanfield and Dan Bigham could become the first riders from completely outside the British Cycling programme to gain selection for a World Championships in a decade.

No-one without experience of the BC programme has been selected for a World Championships since Kate Cullen in 2008.

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Tanfield and KGF team-mate Dan Bigham have both been training with British Cycling’s Podium Programme riders in Manchester and Mallorca in recent months under the auspices of BC head coach Iain Dyer.

Bigham said the GB coaches had “suggested” that the pair might get selected for the Worlds. He added that they had been focusing on individual events with Tanfield impressing in the individual pursuit and Bigham targeting the kilo.

Tanfield said: “I hope I get selected. I think that I’ve probably got the second or third fastest pursuit that someone has done this season so I think there’s a medal opportunity there.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcdwTRh3sGo

When asked about his progress from amateur rider to the prospect of pulling on a GB jersey, Tanfield said: “I completely would not have expected anything like this to have happened this time last year.”

Talking about the training sessions, Bigham told CW: “I think we fitted in quite well, since then they have invited us for some more sessions. They are just trying to assess us in different scenarios that you might experience on the squad.”

He said there had been several days with double training sessions to see how they responded under fatigue.

Dyer said the selection panel for the World Championships was “due to meet at the end of this month”.

He added: “I don’t want to speculate on who may or may not be selected.”

And, despite the continued interest from the Great Britain squad, Bigham revealed they were not counting on gaining selection and the KGF team, which only started at the beginning of the 2017-18 track season, would continue in 2018-19 and expand.

He said the team had already agreed to field a B-team including Tanfield’s older brother Harry, who rides alongside him at Canyon-Eisberg on the road; John Archibald, brother of Olympic gold medallist Katie, and Scottish individual pursuit champion; Ethan Vernon, who is riding at the Commonwealth Games for Wales; and Simon Wilson, national Masters track champion.

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Vern Pitt

Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.