Tim Elverson celebrated Canyon Eisberg’s selection for the Tour de Yorkshire and declared: We can’t wait to get stuck in again.
The British Continental outfit were today announced among the teams for the four-day UCI 2.1 stage race which begins in Beverley on Thursday, May 3.
Elverson’s squad grabbed the headlines in the ASO-organised contest last season, with three breakaways, two jerseys and a podium.
All that little more than two months after the team’s launch. No wonder Elverson retains fond memories. The sports director said:
“It was one of our best races last year. It was certainly the race which underlined us as having arrived and we are delighted to be invited back.
“It is a very organised, fun race in exceedingly good surroundings with some amazing teams.
“I have very fond memories of last year. We had a great few days. Morale was very high, everyone started well and we delivered.
“This is a day longer, which might change how it gets raced. There are two particularly tough days, so it is going to be very hard.
“The extra day offers us an extra chance to show ourselves, though, and another opportunity to get things right. We can’t wait to get stuck in again.”
Chris Opie sprinted to third place behind World Tour stars Dylan Groenewegen and Caleb Ewan in Scarborough on day one last season.
James Lowsley-Williams had earlier delivered a superb effort in the breakaway. Local boy Harry Tanfield and Dexter Gardias then picked up the baton.
The pair starred up the road on stages two and three respectively, winning the social media vote for the Dimension Data combativity jerseys.
Meanwhile, Max Stedman provided a glimpse of his potential as he mixed it with some of the world’s top climbers on the Queen stage to finish 23rd on general classification.
Elverson realises his team have their work cut out to improve on that debut showing. But vowed they will do everything in their power to raise their game again. He said:
“I always like to look at how we can do things better and we have certainly learned a lot about operating at that level.
“We have improved the squad and the riders who have stayed are a year better, so naturally we are going to be able to elevate ourselves in that way.
“The lads are all very familiar with each other now, none of the staff have changed and with the understanding of the race as well, that should make us a few per cent better.
“We’ll have done maybe five UCI races before we get to Yorkshire, too, which is slightly more than last time.
“And I think we will just be more comfortable in our surroundings, which will make us even more capable of delivering results. Maybe better results.
“First and foremost, though, it is another chance to go out and play with the big boys, which we will all relish.”
The Tour de Yorkshire begins with a 182km stage from Beverley to Doncaster, which is expected to end in a bunch sprint.
The general classification battle should kick off on stage two, where the peloton will take a summit finish in Ilkley after a 149km dash from Barnsley.
An 184km stage from Richmond to Scarborough follows on the third day before the race climaxes with the Queen stage.
No fewer than six categorised climbs lie in wait during a 189.5km race from Halifax to Leeds, which will no doubt decide who will clinch the title won by Dimension Data’s Serge Pauwels last season.