David Tanner signs with Veranda’s Willems Crelan

Just as it appeared that 2017 would be a right off for the out of contract David Tanner, a 2 a.m. phone call offered the Australian a lifeline. Former Saxo Bank teammate Nick Nuyens reached out to Tanner’s manager and offered the 32-year-old a contract through to the end of 2017 via his Pro Continental squad Veranda’s Willems Crelan.

With IAM Cycling folding at the end of last year, Tanner found himself on the lookout for a new team and was close a deal when he was hit by a car in a training ride accident in September. He spent three weeks in intensive care recovering from multiple injuries as a result and facing up to the reality of an early retirement

Refusing to give up on his career, Tanner kept training in the hope of earning a contract while also remaining pragmatic and enrolling in courses to cover his bases.

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It was during a visit to Australia in May made to complete a level one coaching course, along with several other personal and professional reasons, that Tanner received the news. He is now back in Europe at altitude, preparing for his first races with the team in late-July with his persistence paying off.

“I had almost given up on racing for this year. I didn’t want to stop cycling so I kept training in the hope that someone gave me a chance,” a relieved Tanner told Cyclingnews. “I had basically given up. In my last week in Australia, Nick Nuyens called my manager and I just happened to be staying at his house and it was two in the morning or something.

“He came into the room and said, ‘Nick Nuyens just called me and wants to know if you can race in July’. I didn’t know if I was dreaming or what the story was but it was true and it happened.”

Grateful to be a alive

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