After 3 seasons of competing at the top tier of the sport at World Tour level, Harry Tanfield will race for Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling in 2022. Harry took some time out from the Ribble Weldtite training camp to speak to our very own Emma Watson. Covering such topics as pre-ride prep, recovery and how to make the perfect overnight porridge!
Each year the South East of Spain plays host to a Ribble Weldtite training camp in Calp. With so many new faces on board, this year’s camp is more important than ever in melding a group of talented individuals into the UK’s number one cycling team.
So Harry, how has the Ribble Weldtite training camp been so far?
I’ve already been out in Spain on and off for the last couple of months and moved into the training camp on the first day. It’s nice to finally get to meet everyone.
Is it the first time that you’ve all been together?
Yeah, I provisionally met them all at the official team launch. Then went home, had a mad day with the bike trying to set it all up and flew out on the 24th (February). It’s nice to meet everyone properly, even though we have had a few calls on teams. But to actually meet everyone and ride with them in groups while chatting, it’s been good.
Have you raced against your new teammates before?
No, there’s quite a few that I haven’t. I’ve probably raced with Stu (Balfour) quite a few years ago but the others I never have. A few guys I know pretty well, Jack (Rees), Tom (Timothy), (Jacob) Tipper and a few others I’ve known for 10 years or so. But some I have only met for the first time whilst being here.
Who’s your BFF on camp?
Well it’s bound to be Tipper, isn’t it? Because we’re roomies! I’m making him cups of tea all the time! He takes it with milk and honey BTW.
What sort of things have you been up to on camp?
Every day has had specific training blocks, so you can’t just go out and do whatever you want to do. Though the first day was a steady one. Just getting used to the bike, and making sure everything was set up correctly. Getting any teething issues out of the way and ensuring the positions are set up correctly. So that we’re ready for the training to commence on day 2.
We had a good plan mapped out for the training camp which we’ve had to modify a lot because of the weather. But it’s worked out pretty well and the days that we’ve managed to train have been some pretty good quality training. There have been no wasted days.
What’s your favourite sort of training ride? A 6 1/2 hour ride or the race simulation that you did yesterday?
Either way, you are going to be out of the house for at least 4 or 5 hours anyway. I really enjoyed the second day when we did some team time trial work. Followed by a bit of race simulation at the end. That was really good and I really do prefer those quality sessions. I feel like I need them more anyway. As opposed to the 6 or 7 hours which are just long old days, which I’ve done enough of out here already.
There’s a lot of guys that haven’t got the long rides in, but I’ve done plenty of them. For me, it’s better to do short rides and group work. Mainly because it’s actually the first time that I’ve ridden with people properly for months. Sure I’ve ridden with people, but not actually sat in the wheels in a race situation or a team time trial. It’s good to just follow the wheels and get used to that feeling of riding in groups again.
On days like this when it’s grim outside, what do you get up to? What do you do on rainy days?
It’s been a pretty wasted day so far, I’m going to call my gran and my dad. I never called them the last rest day as I somehow managed to run out of time. These days can be useful though. We have our chats with Col (Sturgess), Jack (Rees) and Tipper about our race programmes and objectives. It gives us the chance to plan the logistics for upcoming races and the teams for each race. I have a to-do list on my phone that needs to be done by the end of the day. Today though, it’s been nice to spend some time talking to Zeb (Kyffin), Red (Walters) and just chilling out.
Is it important to fuel right on days like this?
Yes, I’ve got my brownie (he’s tucking into a brownie during the interview) but it’s been a pretty chilled day and I’ve not eaten a lot, to be honest. I quite like to have poached eggs on toast during my rest days instead of a big bowl of porridge.
How’s the vibe been on camp?
I think that a few guys are getting tired, their legs are feeling sore. But I feel pretty normal and not particularly fatigued as I came into the camp feeling quite fresh. When I went back to the UK, I had 4 days where I didn’t particularly do too much in the way of training.
What’s the pattern of a typical training day?
It’s surprising where the days go really, it’s been mainly casual rollouts tinkering with things. On the road, we stop a lot getting kit and bottles from the car. My auto-pause on my Garmin is going off about twice as much as it normally would. For instance, I normally train with 1-litre bottles but out here we have 500ml bottles. So I would only stop half as much on my usual training rides. Every time anyone wants food or a bottle they go back to the car and it results in a 10 or 15 minute stop.
Did you have any personal goals coming into the Ribble Weldtite training camp?
Just to get in a good week of training really. To get used to riding in groups, get involved in team time trials and race simulations. When you’re out here training on your own for 2 months, you’re living by your power meter so it’s nice to do something different to that.
How do you recover from a big ride?
We normally have some warm-up from the night before. We all take turns cooking in the villa so we always make a little bit extra for one or two people to warm up when they get back. Some of the guys are just happy with their shakes, others like a bit of cereal. Tipper loves his chocolate granola, he gets through like a full bag in a day and a bit. I normally have some warmed up stir fry, risotto, or a baguette but it largely depends on what time we get in.
Are you a big stretcher? Do you stretch much?
I do on my rest days but not so much here because of the tiled floors. They can get a little grim! I do like to get my recovery prone massage gun out and crack on with that. On the rest days like this morning, I do some stretching and a bit of core work.
What do you eat before a big training day?
I always make my porridge the night before, along with all of my bottles and food. I’ll take out a bread roll or bagels with jam, some bananas and some OTE gels and bars. The latter is always easier as you can just take them from the car, though I only use them as and when I need them. Though it’s different in a race of course. I always have my overnight oats, 80 to 100g, I actually brought some rolled oats out from England. I’ve found a supermarket over here that sells good quality rolled oats so at least I know where to go now!
What are you putting in your porridge?
I use 10g cinnamon or chocolate protein powder depending on what I fancy and some cinnamon or cocoa powder depending on what combo I’m going for. Then half oat milk or soy milk, rice milk, 200ml of each one, a bit of salt and then leave it overnight. Then in the morning get it in the microwave and add boiling water while it’s cooking. I always add a load of boiling water as it’s cooking as I don’t like it to be like a flapjack. Then just chuck in some frozen berries, they are a must!
Let’s talk bikes, you’ve been riding the Ultra SL R for what, a week?
Yes, my first ride was actually in Spain, I didn’t get a chance to ride it at all back in England. The first impressions have been really nice. That first night I took it for a quick blast to Xàbia and back and averaged about 33 and a bit kph. There’s no way in hell that I’m averaging more than 31.5-32kph normally so for sure it’s faster.
What are the key features that you are most impressed with?
I like that it’s nice and stiff, and it rolls really well. Once you get it up to speed, it just holds the speed really well and when you do come off the pedals it just keeps going.
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