A Commonwealth Games gold medal is almost certainly not what his student loan lenders envisaged their cash being used for, but Charlie Tanfield is not one for doing things the conventional way. He does it his own way.
Technically, the mechanical engineering student is still an amateur cyclist. While most of his England team-mates in the Gold Coast enjoy funding courtesy of British Cycling’s not insignificant £30million budget, Tanfield operates almost wholly outside of the system.
It was only 18 months ago that the 21-year-old even started contemplating competing at this level when he moved into a flat in Derby with his three cyclist friends and they formed their own team called KGF.
The plan was to see how far they could get if they dedicated themselves to their craft, despite operating on an annual budget of around £15,000 split between the four of them.
“We’re a group of mates from around the country,” Tanfield explained. “I get by on my student loan. Most of it comes out of our own back pocket, which is a small sacrifice to pay.”
The success relative to such a meagre financial outlay has been staggering. Victory in a World Cup race this January forced the British selectors to take notice and select Tanfield for the World Championships last month.