It’s time to head to northern England for the 5th Tour de Yorkshire. With four road stages on tap, the race begins in Doncaster on Thursday and ends in Leeds. Team KATUSHA ALPECIN look forward to some solid racing.
Rider Nathan Haas: “I’m sharing a history buff moment here. As an Australian, the Yorkshire coastline has a special place in our hearts as it’s the place where James Cook sailed from 251 years ago to find Mainland Austalia!” The Royal Navy captain recorded the first contact with the eastern coastline of Australia, as well as the Hawaiian Islands.
There is some history on hand for British rider Harry Tanfield, too, winner of stage 1 in last years race and wearer of all jerseys on that opening stage.
Tanfield: “What can I say! It’s something you dream of. Never did I expect when I started my day that by the end I would be leading the classification in 3 jerseys. My goal for the day was to be in the breakaway and represent the team on TV and fight for the jerseys on the road – the King of the Mountain, the Points, or the Grey jersey for most combative. Obviously, things played out very differently and this day will stay with me forever!”
As the largest county in the United Kingdom, there is plenty of atmosphere for riders to enjoy along the way with support coming in all shapes and sizes along the roadways.
Haas: “That’s right; some of the wildest and most committed fans you’ll ever know! In 2016 the final stage was nasty, seriously cold with sideways rain. Yet, the hills were lined out with fans making so much noise you wouldn’t ever believe. Safe to say, I’m excited to be coming back.”
For Harry Tanfield, the race is the closest he comes to having a “home race”.
Tanfield: “Not all of the race is over my home roads, but there are two stages in this year’s race which I kind of know. Anything within an hour’s drive of my house I would classify as local for sure, even if I don’t train on them. Seeing the crowds that always come out to support the event and to take in all the local support is fantastic. It’s such a great experience.”
With last year’s stage one win and initial race lead, Tanfield stepped up to the WorldTour when he joined Team KATUSHA ALPECIN and will find himself in more of a support role this time.
Tanfield: “This year obviously my role in the team is different from previous editions. Now in a bigger team for sure I will be playing a larger role in the support of others as opposed to taking my opportunities like last year. But we have a strong team and hope to fight it out in the sprints and for the podium. I will be trying to help the leaders of the team out each day the best I can.”
Nathan Haas concludes: “The race itself is brilliant. It's a growing event, and since the last time I raced here in 2016, I've been wanting to come back! The climbs are steeper than an airport coffee, you can have four seasons in a day and you get to finish at the beach. What more could you ask for?”
Photos c. Laura Fletcher/Peloton Brief