'It's still sinking in': Harry Tanfield in disbelief after breakaway victory at Tour de Yorkshire

Canyon-Eisberg rider couldn't believe the breakaway held off rampaging peloton in the run in to Doncaster.

Harry Tanfield of Canyon Eisberg celebrates in The General Classification Jersey (Picture by SWpix.com)

Harry Tanfield was in understandably jovial and humble mood as he addressed the media after a stunning stage one win at the Tour de Yorkshire.

"It's still sinking in, I’ve got a jersey for every colour except for the KOM one, so its been a good day out," Tanfield said.

"It’s a shame I’ve won all these jerseys and I’m not going to be able to wear them all, but obviously the leader's one trumps them all."

"I could have never dreamt of days like this, even when we were going over the finish line I didn’t think we’d beat the peloton so it’s a fantastic feeling."

>>> Why Sunday’s stage of the Tour de Yorkshire might be the hardest ever on British soil

The race victory wasn't even thought as a possibility in the morning, with the main objective for Tanfield to get in the breakaway and secure the Most Active Rider jersey, which he duly achieved.

"I was sitting on for two kilometres after I heard I won the combativity [jersey] because I thought we were going to get caught and I was saving my energy to stay in the bunch until the finish line," Tanfield added.

"Because in 2.1 or HC races the peloton usually get it right. They had us pegged at two minutes at 25 kilometres to go and I just remember keeping that until 20 kilometres to go which is the ball park for where they want it.

"But we still had a minute and a half with 10 kilometres to go and the last five kilometres was faster than what they anticipated so we held our advantage."

One of the most impressive parts of Tanfield and the breakaway was the amount of time they had spent off the front and still maintaining a significant power output to the finish line,

"I was just thinking we can't let it drop below 50km/h and when it got to three kilometres to go I was pushing 500 plus watts. I knew that whoever was riding on the front of the bunch wasn't doing more than that so if we are then they aren’t bringing us back."

Tanfield's remarkable performance was plotted out watching the women's race earlier in the morning as he was aware he was to going to being vying for a spot in the day's breakaway, and it could come down the last final kilometres of the road.

"I saw that it was quite a long way to the finish from the last corner and it was a pretty strong headwind, I was going flat out for like 200m and everyone just died at 100m to go marker because we went so early," he said.

"It wasn’t really a sprint it was more a time trial to the line but I had my chance to get my hands in the air."

>>> Anna Christian shakes off late call up to animate Tour de Yorkshire women’s race

Looking ahead, Tanfield was realistic when looking ahead to his chances of holding onto the race leader's jersey on the stage two summit finish up the Cow and Calf.

"I am one hundred per cent sure I'm getting belted, no other way around it," Tanfield said.

"If I get to the bottom still in the bunch I’ll be happy, I’ll just ball up there in my blue jersey and just soak it all in.

"I’ll do what I can for Max to get him to the bottom of the climb but there's no way I’m holding on to Greg Van Avermaet when he is whacking up there at 600 watts."

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Paul Knott is a fitness and features writer, who has also presented Cycling Weekly videos as well as contributing to the print magazine as well as online articles.  In 2020 he published his first book, The Official Tour de France Road Cycling Training Guide (Welbeck), a guide designed to help readers improve their cycling performance via cherrypicking from the strategies adopted by the pros.