Harry Tanfield is eager to test his legs after cranking up his winter mileage.
The 22-year-old, from Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, admits his efforts and numbers are much the same as they have been ahead of previous campaigns.
However, three trips to Spain and the loosening of his university shackles have allowed him to take on a bigger workload.
And he is ready to see what impact that has on his racing as he prepares for the Eddie Soens Memorial in Aintree, Liverpool on Saturday (9.30am). Tanfield said:
“I am happy with where I am at the moment. I haven’t been ill or injured, so I have been able to get some biggish weeks in.
“I haven’t done anything massive but I have been able to get in some good consistent training, week in, week out.
“I am doing pretty much the same training, same efforts, same numbers but I have upped my volume. Hopefully that is a good way to start the year.
“That is just down to having more time to ride the bike with less or no university work. I have spread my final year over two years and that has made a huge difference.
“I have been able to get out to Spain three times, too. That has really helped, although it has cost a fortune!”
Tanfield will race alongside George Atkins, Jack Pullar, Sam Lowe, Jake Womersley and Matt Nowell for BIKE Channel Canyon in the Eddie Soens.
He reckons the powerful JLT Condor line-up, including Ed Clancy, Jon Mould, Graham Briggs and James Gullen, are favourites to take the victory.
For Tanfield, it will be an opportunity to race in a large peloton again ahead of the team’s trip to Holland for UCI races Ronde van Drenthe and Rabobank Dorpenomloop Rucphen on March 11 and March 12 respectively. He added:
“Soens is always a bit of a mad race. It is flat, fast and aggressive. There is always some sort of a sprint at the end. I don’t know how I’m sprinting but we’ll soon find out.
“JLT have a strong team. They will be the guys to follow and I’m sure they will share the work with us. Tom Pidcock will probably have a strong ride, too.
“It will be nice to get stuck in and get used to riding in such a big bunch (167 entries). It is good preparation for Holland, where there will be 150 keen guys on the startline all trying to get in the breakaway.
“I have felt all right in a couple of little crits I’ve done. I have been riding to the races, training on the way there, doing the race and then riding back.
“They are biggish days, so two hours around the Soens circuit should be easier than four hours of intervals like that!”