BIKE Channel Canyon signed off their debut season in style with a superb showing in the Hong Kong Challenge on Sunday.
Harry Tanfield finished sixth in the UCI 1.1 Asia Tour event as Tim Elverson’s squad once again traded blows with World Tour heavyweights.
Matej Mohoric, of UAE Team Emirates, celebrated victory in the 113km contest ahead of Robbie Hucker, of IsoWhey Sports, and Bahrain Merida‘s Yukiya Arashiro.
Orica-Scott‘s Mitchell Docker was fourth, with Sam Crome (IsoWhey) next best in front of Tanfield, who beat Michael Hepburn into seventh position as he crossed the line 1min 53sec behind the winner.
The 22-year-old, from Great Ayton, admitted he thought his chance had gone during a scorching start to the race in searing temperatures. Tanfield said:
“A group got away with around 15 guys. And then another 10 went begind that.
“They went away on a motorway bridge and I literally couldn’t follow. I was just swinging.
“I had just gone with a move through the town, so didn’t go with the next one over the bridge. And that was Mohoric whacking it.
“I couldn’t follow anything on the climb. At 84kg, I was just getting spat going up there.
“Everyone was cooked after that first half an hour. It was so hot! The gap went out to two minutes and I thought we were done for.
“So I just attacked after about an hour and 15. Three guys came with me but I was doing 80 per cent of the work.”
More riders came across and soon Tanfield found himself in a effective group of six.
“The Orica guy wasn’t riding because he had a guy up the road. So with about 1.5km to go, I hit them doing about 65kph off the bridge.
“No-one moved, so that was me gone. The IsoWhey guy had already gone about 2km earlier on a drag and I just couldn’t catch him.
“At the finish he was about 200m ahead of me. With 300m to go, I realised I wasn’t getting there. That’s when I just sat up.
“My pals Herman and Lewis were there giving us ice in tights. So I was just throwing that down the back of my neck. I wouldn’t have got round without them.”
Mohoric’s British team-mate Ben Swift finished in 11th place, with a fine effort from Mitchell Webber to finish 46th – firmly in the main bunch at 8.32.
The result brings the curtain down on BIKE Channel Canyon‘s memorable maiden campaign, which has seen them mix it with the very best at races such as the Tour de Yorkshire and Tour of Britain.
And plans are well under way to raise the bar again next season, despite the loss of title sponsor BIKE Channel.