Derby’s Team KGF returned from the final round of UCI Track World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, with two gold medals in the Team Pursuit and the Individual Pursuit.
The current British national team pursuit champions, Team KGF took a convincing win in the Team Pursuit. Charlie Tanfield, Harry Tanfield, Dan Bigham and Jonathan Wale posted a stunning time of 3 minutes 56.015 seconds over the four-kilometre distance to beat Russian team Lokosphinx and claim the gold medal.
Team KGF, launched at the Derby Arena in September, have already achieved some remarkable results for a team outside of the British Cycling system. At the UCI Track World Cup event at Manchester, last November, the team narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in a race against the current European champions France having led for 14 of the 16 laps.
Charlie Tanfield recorded the second fastest time for a British rider when he won gold in the Individual Pursuit
The Team Pursuit victory was Team KGF’s second success of the meeting after Charlie Tanfield’s gold in the Individual Pursuit, on Saturday, beating Portugal’s Ivo Oliveira. Tanfield took the victory by over five seconds in a time of 4 minutes 12.253 seconds, the 4th fastest time ever recorded, and becoming the 2nd fastest British rider behind Chris Boardman.
Tanfield and Bigham are now thought to be in with a strong chance of being selected to ride for Great Britain in the 2018 Track World Championships. They would be the first non-British Cycling riders to be selected to represent the county in the event since Kate Cullen in 2008.
Tanfield and Bigham have been training with British Cycling’s Podium Programme riders, under British Cycling head coach Iain Dyer, in Manchester and Mallorca. They have been focusing on individual events, Tanfield concentrating on the individual pursuit while Bigham is targeting the 1km Time Trial.
“I hope I get selected,” said Tanfield. “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.”
Team KGF in the National Champions kit at the team launch in 2017
Team KGF, managed by Ellie Green, was formed under the Karen Green Foundation banner, a local charity supporting the families of those suffering with Leukaemia. Brother UK have continued their backing of this champion track squad bringing financial support. This will enable Team KGF to compete at the highest level track races across the world whilst targeting the 2018 Commonwealth Games for each rider’s respective nation.
Through 2017 Team KGF created a base in Derby, close to the velodrome at Derby Arena. The Arena is a popular training centre for many cyclists including Team GB’s academy and junior teams, as it affords them more track time than the Team GB headquarters in Manchester.
Team KGF has also been given significant support from Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) and Derby Arena including world class physiotherapy and strength and conditioning. “The DIS is a community interest that supports elite athletes to achieve their goals and perform at World Class level in their chosen sport,” said Adi Fawcett, Head of Operations at DIS.