Derby’s Team KGF have made a big impression in their very short history and enjoyed a great weekend at the British National Track Cycling Championships until a mechanical breakdown wrecked their bid to retain their Team Pursuit title.
A speed sensor magnet jammed Charlie Tanfield’s wheel as Team KGF were building a lead in the early stages of the gold medal final at the championships in Manchester at the end of January.
The Team Pursuit defending champions quickly went ahead of rivals 100% ME in the final as kilo specialist Jonny Wale put in his usual massive four-lap stint at the head of the KGF train, building a 1 second lead, before pulling off. At that moment Tanfield suffered his mechanical fault and was also forced out. Dan Bigham and Jacob Tipper were alone and a man down as the team’s time is taken from the third rider. Wale battled on to try to regroup with his team mates but the impetus had gone and 100% ME soon caught him to claim the British title.
Taking only the silver medal in the Team Pursuit was a disappointing end to the weekend. The KGF A team had been the favourites to take victory in the event after winning the final round of the UCI World Cup in Minsk and qualifying fastest in the National heats. Meanwhile the B team of John Archibald, Ethan Vernon, Harry Tanfield and Simon Wilson went on to win the bronze medal final, catching the University of Derby Cycling Club team to give Team KGF two places on the podium.
Jonny Wale, a massive stint before trouble struck
The Team Pursuit breakdown spoiled what was, otherwise, a fantastic weekend for Team KGF with some brilliant individual performances. Charlie Tanfield put in an astonishing performance to catch defending champion and team-mate Dan Bigham with three laps to go in the Individual pursuit final on the first day of the meeting. This success came just a week after his stunning gold in Minsk.
“It feels great,” said Tanfield. “It’s what I’ve been chasing ever since Dan beat me last year! It feels really good to keep on the high that I’m on at the moment, and I want to see if I can build on this for the world championships, if I get selected, and maybe the Commonwealth Games as well.”
Charlie Tanfield took his second Individual Pursuit success in two weeks
Team KGF completed a 1-2-3 with John Archibald taking the bronze medal ahead of Mark Stewart, while Harry Tanfield’s fifth position ensured that Team KGF occupied four of the top five places underlining the growing strength of the Derby squad. John Archibald claimed his maiden National title in the men’s points race. He broke away from the rest of the field and, roared on by the crowd, his courageous attack was rewarded by 20 points for a lap gain, consolidating his position at the top of the leader board.
Archibald’s lead was never seriously challenged. “I’m ecstatic, really over the moon!” he said afterwards. “I could feel the crowd urging me on, I had my sister (Olympic gold medal winner Kate Archibald MBE) on the sidelines and my team-mates on the other side. I could feel it, and it definitely helped.”
Sister Kate also enjoyed a successful cjhampionships winning the Individual Pursuit, Scratch Race and Points Race.