Harry Tanfield has toasted a landmark result for the team.
The 23-year-old teamed up with Max Stedman, Rory Townsend and James Lowsley-Williams to dominate the Tour of Quanzhou Bay this weekend.
Stedman clinched overall glory, while the quartet also banked two stage wins and the points jersey in the Chinese province of Fujian.
Tanfield’s victory on day one and the general classification triumph were UCI firsts for Tim Elverson’s squad.
The milestones were reached on the back of a thrilling debut season, which has delivered memorable moments both domestically and in continental Europe.
For Tanfield, getting the job done in such style in the third and final stage of the UCI 2.2 Asia Tour contest was a source of great pride. He said:
“Me, Hank and Rory had the sheriff badges on. We policed it from the gun. We had a hit list on our stems of everyone within 1min 40sec of Max and no-one was getting up the road.
“We eventually let a couple of lads go after the first sprint and pegged them at 30 seconds. Then the Mitchelton Scott boys went full bore in what was a bit of a crosswind.
“They weren’t going to ride the peloton off their wheel, though. They did it for about 3km and then just sat up.
“With about 10km to go, the Russians came to the front to ride for the sprint. At that point we thought sound, Max has got this.
“All we had to do was not crash, get round to the finish and he’s won it. No-one was going to clip off at that point, it was done. It was mega.
“Won the GC, won first stage, won second stage, finished second on the third stage, won the points jersey, second in that as well, second in the KOM. We were absolutely all over it!”
Tanfield won the second intermediate sprint as he delivered a seated effort to breeze past St George’s rivals going full bore.
He was pipped at the finish line by Latvian Deins Kanepejs, of Rietumu Banka – Riga, as he narrowly missed out on a second stage win.
However, that could not take the gloss off a stunning tour in which Townsend pocketed the green points jersey. Tanfield added:
“I didn’t realise at the time but with the points I collected at the second sprint, had I won the stage I would have taken Rory’s jersey. That would have been harsh!
“We didn’t really press the pedals until 1.5km to go. I tried to get Rory on my wheel but he got chopped off somewhere behind.
“We came around the last corner with 600m left and there was a big tailwind to the line. I then remember lighting it up with 400m to go.
“I was flat out to the line. I managed to gap them but then the big unit came up in the middle. He had the run on me. I just needed a little bit longer because he was dying at the line.”
Following his stunning success on stage two’s summit finish in Anxi, Stedman clinched the Tour of Quanzhou Bay title by six seconds from Drew Morey.
Tanfield was one point adrift of Townsend as the team celebrated a one-two in the sprints competition, while the latter was runner-up in the mountains classification.
Townsend, who finished second to Tanfield on the opening stage in Jinjiang, was also 13th in the general classification.
The squad’s UCI efforts in 2017 make for impressive reading, with one overall win, two stage victories, a further five podium finishes and eight top-10s.
They collected two combativity jerseys at the Tour de Yorkshire, while Townsend also bagged the mountains classification in Kazakhstan’s Tour of Almaty.
That’s not forgetting Tanfield’s performance in the time trial at the Tour of Britain, which is arguably the ride of the season.
And glory at the Tour of Quanzhou Bay was the perfect way to sign off for Christmas, setting a benchmark for a mouthwatering 2018 campaign.