‘The Pursuit’: Team KGF Documentary, the amateurs who shook the world

Documentary shows the team that may be amateur in name but which is very much professional in attitude.

Filmmaker James Poole made the Team KGF documentary after following the team (now re-launched as Team HUUB Wattbike) for a year on their journey from shock national champions through to World Cup and World Championship success, to create a film which presents the amateur riders’ debut season which shook up the track cycling world as they self-funded and out-thought their way to the top.

Off the back of this James created an hour-long documentary called “The Pursuit” which follows the story, highlighting the characters, exploring the methodology and just how they achieved what they did – and what achievements they were.

Team KGF documentary
Photo©Gary Main

With a string of medals to their name, the innovative track cycling team of friends (Jonny Wale, Jake Tipper, Dan Bigham, Charlie Tanfield and brother Harry) are currently among the fastest in the world, using their hunger and disruptive mindset to challenge the status quo at every level – from training to tactics, attitude to equipment, socks to skinsuits – to deliver much more than ‘marginal gains’.

One of their number, Charlie Tanfield, has since gone on to win gold for Great Britain in the team pursuit at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, while his brother, Harry, won the opening stage of last year’s Tour de Yorkshire and has subsequently been signed by World Tour Team Katusha.

Team KGF documentary
Photo©James Poole

Chris Boardman says about Team KGF’s innovative approach to track racing at one point in The Pursuit;

“It was part-science, it was part Graeme Obree maverick, and it’s just a delight when somebody finds something that is head-slappingly simple once it’s been shown to you.”

The production of the documentary was entirely created and funded by James, who has been involved in sport for most of his life and felt that the story was such a powerful one in the climate of today’s sporting attitudes and assumptions where all too often we accept the status quo, and it provides a fascinating look at a group of young riders who came along and challenged the ‘norms’ of the time.