Slipstream Sports announced the signing of Dan McLay on Monday, one day after his win at Tour de l’Eurométropole. The 25-year-old joins the WorldTour from Fortuneo – Oscaro.
“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,” said McLay. “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.”
“Dan is a rider that we have followed for a long time,” said sport director Charly Wegelius. “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.”
Kiwi-born and British-bred, McLay began his U23 career in 2011 as a 19-year-old Dave Rayner-funded rider based out of Belgium. He took his first victory at the GP Stad Waregem, the U23 Dwars dor Vlaanderen race, and snagged another five wins in the weeks that followed. His results netted him a contract with Lotto’s development program that would eventually span four years.
McLay’s talent in the U23 ranks have slowly but steadily transferred into elite races. In his Tour de France debut in 2016, McLay sprinted into the top ten four times, including third place on stage six behind Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel. He earned another four top ten finishes at the 2017 Tour de France.
“My third place and multiple top ten finishes in the Tour were important, but there’s something different about winning,” said McLay. “I would say my sprint in Mallorca at Trofeo Palma might be my best to date. I went long and some very good sprinters couldn’t come past me. That was a good win.”
McLay, like his soon-to-be teammate, Sacha Modolo, could easily be categorized as a sprinter; yet, he’s also shown promise in the spring. In 2016, without any team support, McLay sprinted to tenth at Scheldeprijs.
“I think I can become good in the classics,” said McLay. “I’m excited to learn from my new teammates, such as Sep Vanmarcke.”
His ambitions span the entire season.
“I hope to find a winning formula and get into a habit of winning,” McLay said. “That’s the main goal for next year.”