By Tom Harle
Charlie Tanfield was frustrated to have been outstripped by the Commonwealth field as he lost his individual pursuit crowd on home soil.
The Great Ayton star won team pursuit silver alongside Oliver Wood, Ethan Vernon, and Dan Bigham on the opening night of racing at London’s velodrome.
Tanfield’s defence of his Commonwealth 4000m title ended in qualifying, where he placed fourth, but he managed to squeak into the medal finals by 0.8 seconds after a ride of 4:09.776.
The 25-year-old led through the first 1000m of the bronze medal run-off but faded and was pipped to the podium by Conor Leahy of Australia.
“In all honesty, I thought I could edge him out there,” he reflected.
“I came into it with quite a lot of confidence, but it didn’t materialise in the end. I thought performance-wise, I gave a solid performance and showed what I’m capable of with where I’m now.
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“It wasn’t a bad ride but it’s frustrating not to be in the gold/silver [final] or get a bronze.”
The individual pursuit is a non-Olympic event with Tanfield’s first focus lying in team pursuit and endurance events that will feature at the Paris Olympics.
Tanfield won gold at Gold Coast 2018 in a time of 4:15.952 and has clearly improved with a 4:10.423 showing in the final in front of a packed crowd at Lee Valley Velodrome.
But it wasn’t enough with the rest of the world making even bigger leaps since then, with New Zealand continuing to dominate men’s endurance events.
Aaron Gate took gold, the first ride to win multiple track cycling at the Games, with Tom Sexton taking silver.
“Last time round, I won it in a 15 and I’m knocking out nines now,” he said.
“We’ve all improved, they’ve just improved a little bit better than me. It doesn’t mean in the next few competitions; I can’t get to their sort of pace.
“It’s swings and roundabouts. I’ll keep on improving and making sure I get to the next competition in better shape.”
After his second Team England appearance Tanfield’s attention turns to the European Track Championships in Munich.
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