First Britain, then the world.
That’s the target for Ryan Christensen as he prepares to scale new heights in his fledgling cycling career.
The 21-year-old, from New Zealand, was named in Canyon Eisberg’s squad for the Tour of Britain on Monday.
That news followed in the slipstream of the announcement he had made the Kiwi under-23 team for the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria next month.
Christensen’s development has certainly gathered pace since arriving in Europe in the spring and catching the eye of Canyon Eisberg sports director Tim Elverson.
Less than 90 days after joining the British UCI Continental outfit, he is readying himself for his maiden Tour of Britain – where he will be the squad’s youngest rider.
And he revealed he is likely to have an extremely important role in looking after the team’s general classification hope, Max Stedman. Christensen said:
“It was great to be confirmed in the squad for the worlds. It had been on my mind for a little while.
“My main focus has always been the Tour of Britain and then the worlds, which ties in really well.
“Hopefully, I don’t crack too much over the next week or so and can carry the form through. That is the goal.
“I didn’t get too caught up in the Tour of Britain qualifying but I know Tim was looking at me as a chaperone for Max.
“I still felt like I was fighting for it. And I wanted to keep that mindset throughout the races in August and earn that spot.
“I’m looking forward to looking after Max as best I can. I’ll be there to position him well and give him the best chance to get the result we want.
“You never know what is going to happen. There will always be opportunities to have your own shot but the main focus will be to make sure Max is okay.”
Christensen thanked his Canyon Eisberg team-mates for welcoming him on board with open arms this summer.
He was a key man in helping the squad qualify for the Tour of Britain, while weighing in with some promising rides in Belgium and Holland.
And the Hamilton-born talent revealed he would jump at the chance to return to race on these shores again next season. He added:
“I have loved it here. The racing has been great and the guys have really taken me under their wing.
“It must be 90 days since I joined the team. I have done a crazy amount of travelling and had some great experience racing.
“It couldn’t get much better. I’d love to come back next year. I’m already looking at flats and everything, so that is the plan.”
The eight-stage Tour of Britain rolls out of Pembrey Country Park in Carmarthenshire on Sunday before climaxing the following Sunday with a 77km crit in London.
For the second year running, ITV4 will broadcast every stage of the race live from start to finish. They will also air hour-long highlights programmes at 8pm each night.
Eurosport will also be screening live coverage, while Christensen’s Kiwi fans will be able to watch the race on Sky.
Click on the folliwing links to read Max Stedman on the Tour of Britain and Tim Elverson revealing his full line-up.