First British winner of 2019 Dan McLay says his victory shows quality of UK riders

The EF Education First rider says he just wants to win races, and doesn’t care which ones

Dan McLay ahead of stage three of the 2019 UAE Tour (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Britain’s first winner of 2019 Dan McLay has praised the growing success of home-grown talent.

EF Education First rider McLay won stage one of the Herald Sun Tour last month, making him the first UK rider to get a pro win this season.

McLay said his goal for 2019 is to win races, adding he “doesn’t care which ones.”

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On being the first British winner, the 27 year-old told Cycling Weekly: “It’s not a competition amongst us, because there’s the rest of the world out there as well.

“But I think when you talk like that, it just shows the quality there is coming out of the UK.

“You talk about the first rather than the only win. It’s not that long since there weren’t many.

“Thankfully, I’ve had people to follow through and there’s more and more coming.”

McLay beat Team Sky’s Kristoffer Halvorsen and Wouter Wippert (EvoPro Racing) in the opening sprint of the Australian stage race.

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He adds the victory to his tally of six wins, including the Tour de l’Eurométropole and Trofeo Palma in 2017.

After the stage win, he said “it was about I won something.”

McLay is currently riding in the UAE Tour in support of EF sprinter Sacha Modolo.

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, McLay moved to the UK as a youngster and grew up in Leicester.

He joined the WorldTour with EF in 2017 after two years with French Pro Continental team Fortuneo.

At the end of 2018 he announced he had extended his contracted with the US outfit.

On his own ambitions for 2019, McLay said: “I’d like to win races. I don’t care which ones, I just need to keep the ball rolling.

“Every year I’ve had a win here and there, but never really kept the momentum going.

“I think I’ve got it in me, it’s just about getting the opportunities and keeping the momentum going.”

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. 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.