British neo-pro James Shaw nervous but excited ahead of WorldTour debut - Road Cycling UK

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British neo-pro James Shaw nervous but excited ahead of WorldTour debut

Lotto-Soudal rider kicks off professional career at Santos Tour Down Under 2017

British neo-pro James Shaw admits he can feel the nerves building ahead of his WorldTour debut, but the Lotto-Soudal man is keen to take everything he can from his Santos Tour Down Under experience.

Shaw, 20, signed pro terms with Lotto-Soudal in the winter after impressing for their development team, and the Southampton-born ace has not had to wait long for his debut in cycling’s top tier, after earning selection for next week’s race.

And having acclimatised himself to the hot Australian summer, Shaw is hoping he can learn from his experienced team-mates in Adelaide when the race rolls out on January 13.

James Shaw is nervous but excited ahead of his WorldTour debut with Lotto-Soudal at the Tour Down Under (pic – Lotto-Soudal)

“The route recons made me even more excited to race next week,” he said. “Although I’m really nervous for my first WorldTour race, I hope to come out as a stronger and better bike rider.

“I’m lucky to have a wealth of experience around me, with riders like Lars Bak and Thomas de Gendt who are more than willing to share their knowledge.

“I’m starting a new and big adventure, but the fact I’m surrounded by such a nice team will dampen the shock.”

Shaw is one of several Brits set to start their seasons at Santos Tour Down Under, with Ben Swift making his debut in UAE Abu Dhabi colours and a quartet of Team Sky riders – Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and neo-pro Owain Doull – also on the provisional startlist.

Training in Australia offers a stark contrast to conditions back home for the Brits, but Shaw is in relaxed mood about the weather.

“I took some time to get over the jetlag, but now my body clock is running on Adelaide time. It’s my first time ever in Australia and I like it,” he said.

Shaw, left, has been acclimatising to the Australian summer – a stark contrast from the freezing weather in Europe (pic: Sirotti)

“As far as the weather is concerned it’s a huge difference with the cold in Europe at the moment. It’s a weird feeling having high temperatures in January, that doesn’t seem right.

“But it’s not too hot yet. Today, was the first time the temperature rose above thirty degrees.”

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