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Harry Tanfield looking elsewhere amid uncertainty of Katusha and Israel merger

Joe Robinson
27 Sep 2019

One of 11 uncertain about there future, Tanfield is unsure of whether he will remain in the WorldTour

Harry Tanfield is still in the dark as to whether he will be a WorldTour rider in 2020 as Katusha-Alpecin look set to merge with ProContinental team, Israel Cycling Academy.

Speculation has long surrounded the future of the Swiss-registered, Russian-owned team but it now looks certain that the Israeli team will assume its WorldTour license for next season.

If this happens, there will be 11 riders from Katusha, a team which includes Alex Dowsett and Tanfield, whose existing contracts will be assumed by Israel Cycling Academy. 

However, the ProContinental team already has a roster of 20 for next year and with the team unwilling to keep more than 28 riders on its books, it means some of the Katusha riders could be without a team.

Tanfield told Cyclist that he is one of those with an uncertain future and that he is hoping for clarification on his position as soon as possible.

'I’m still not sure of the whole situation and I need to hear it from the horse's mouth rather than my agent. There are a few guys they cannot take or afford and I think me and maybe Alex could be one of them,' Tanfield told Cyclist.

'From what I can gather, they will merge with Israel but there are not enough places for all the riders in contract with both teams to fit. They have 20 contracted and we have 11 and they will only have 28 maximum for next year. 

Tanfield also said that the team has already allowed riders to break a contract and hunt for a team elsewhere.

The 24-year-old is not one of those riders to have broken from contract but he did admit that he had been making enquiries into other teams although things were being made hard as most teams are 'full already' for 2020.

One option that remains for Tanfield is a return to Continental team Canyon/DHB where he raced between 2016 and 2018. It would also see Tanfield continue his close relationship with Canyon bikes, something he is also trying to use in the hunt for a new team. 

While the return to familiarity and his old teammates would be welcomed, Tanfield is adamant to continue at the highest level.

'I want to race at the highest level. I have been progressing through the year and if you risk going down, you may never come back to the top.'