Accidental figurehead: Clay Davies, the only openly gay male elite rider in the UK

Alex Ballinger talks to him about why he came out and how he’s finding life in the spotlight

Clay Davies
(Image credit: Daniel Gould)

Earlier this year Davies, 29, who races for the Spirit-Bontrager-BSS-Rotor elite, made a historic decision earlier this summer, as he publicly came out as gay in an interview with cycling website The British Continental. Revealing how a life-threatening crash on the bike, when his head was almost crushed after he was run down by a driver in St Albans, changed his perspective on life, Davies told the domestic cycling website: “It took quite literally nearly dying for me to reveal my sexuality.”

In doing so he became statistically something of an anomaly. As Cycling Weekly detailed in a feature in May there are currently no male WorldTour pro riders who are out, despite the chance of their being no gay men in the peloton so vanishingly small as to be close to zero, and only a very select handful of amateurs. As a consequence he’s found himself at the centre of the debate on how our sport can become a more open and inclusive place.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.