British sprinter Dan McLay has taken EF Education First’s opening win of 2019 at the Herald Sun Tour.
The 27-year-old said “it’s about time he won something” as he takes the leaders jersey of the Australian stage race.
McLay was the first in the peloton to open his sprint and was able to hold off Team Sky’s Kristoffer Halvorsen and Wouter Wippert (EvoPro Racing).
Speaking after the stage, McLay said: “I was up for it today. I didn’t get much personally out of the Tour Down Under, so I had the bit between my teeth coming here.
“I was ready for it. It’s really great to get a win under the belt so early.
“It’s good for my confidence going forward. It’s about time I won something.”
McLay adds the victory to his tally of six other pro wins, which include the Tour de l’Europétropole and Trofeo Palma in 2017.
EF Education First team boss Jonathan Vaughters said: “The first win just means that we’re starting to emerge from a few years of chaos.
“It takes a while to build a team.
“Now that we have a solid foundation under us, we can start to build.”
The opening stage of the Herald Sun Tour was a 97.9km pan-flat run that ended in a bunch sprint.
Canadian Michael Woods is leading EF’s general classification hopes in Australia, keeping himself out of trouble during stage one.
Team sports director Tom Southam said: “Mike Woods Kept himself out of trouble and in front of the time gap, so we’re in good shape in that regard looking toward tomorrow.
“I think the win will be the biggest thing tomorrow. The climb, obviously, will be really important, but we can’t think about the climb too much until we’ve done the first part of the day right.
“I think it will be a situation where it will be beneficial to be the team with the responsibility.”
The Herald Sun Tour runs over five stages, finishing on February 3.