British sprinter Dan McLay steps up to WorldTour for 2018 - Road Cycling UK

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British sprinter Dan McLay steps up to WorldTour for 2018

Slipstream Sports confirm acquisition of 25-year-old for renamed EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale team

Dan McLay will be a WorldTour sprinter for the first time in 2018, after Slipstream Sports confirmed the acquisition of the 25-year-old.

Slipstream Sports are the team behind Cannondale-Drapac, who will become EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale for next season after a late fundraising campaign to save their future.

And McLay will step up from UCI ProContinental level, where he has raced for the last three years with Fortuneo-Oscaro – for whom he started the last two Tours de France – with the aim of improving his all-round ability.

Dan McLay will be a WorldTour rider for the first time next season (Pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

McLay said: “I’m really happy to step up to the WorldTour, and I think this is the perfect team for me as I make that move to the top level.

“This is a crucial moment in my career. I’m getting to the age where I’m no longer considered a young and developing rider. It’s time for me to perform before the grey hairs start to appear.

“I hope to find a winning formula and get into a habit of winning. That’s the main goal for next year.”

The news comes just a day after McLay bagged the fifth pro win of his career, and second of the season, at the Tour de l’Eurometropole.

The 25-year-old won the 1.HC-classified race in slightly fortuitous circumstances, when Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) started celebrating too soon and McLay sprinted from the pack to beat him to the line.

McLay has also finished in the top ten on eight occasions at the last two Tours, and will link up with fellow new signing Sacha Modolo to help form his new team’s sprinting arsenal.

And McLay’s ambitions extend beyond the sprints too, adding that he is excited to hook up with Classics specialist Sep Vanmarcke as he bids to improve in the spring too.

“I think I can become good in the classics,” he added.

McLay has bagged five pro wins since signing for his current team, Fortuneo-Oscaro, alongside eight top-ten finishes at the Tour de France (pic: Unisport Prensa)

McLay is one of two British riders confirmed for the team next season, alongside climbing ace Hugh Carthy, 23, who stepped up from UCI ProContinental level last season.

Chris Lawless (to Team Sky), Scott Davies (to Dimension Data) and James Knox (to QuickStep Floors) will also be flying the British flag on the WorldTour stage for the first time next season.

And former British pro Charly Wegelius, now a directeur sportif with Slipstream Sports, is excited by the signing of McLay.

“Dan is a rider that we have followed for a long time,” he said. “His talent is clear for all to see. It’s a big satisfaction to finally get him on board, and we are looking forward to helping him take the next steps in his development.”

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