Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank signs promising Australian talent Jay McCarthy
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank signs promising Australian talent Jay McCarthy

by VeloNation Press at 5:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Tour de l’Avenir prologue winner to have a ‘manicured’ race schedule

Saxo BankPreviously a home to many Australian riders, the Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank team will seek to develop another big prospect after it signed Jay McCarthy to a two year deal. The 20 year old Jayco AIS rider from Queensland is coming on board on the heels of a strong showing at the world road race championships.

Having been in a break earlier in the race, he was the only rider strong enough to be able to cover a last-lap surge by Georg Preidler (Austria) on the final ascent of the Cauberg. However other riders bridged across after the summit, taking the momentum out of the move. The bunch then bridged before the sprint.

He rolled in a disappointed 19th, but gave a clear sign that he was one of the strongest riders there.

The Jayco AIS rider has given several indications of his talent this year, winning the prologue of the Tour de l’Avenir as well as the Trofeo Piva Banca Popolare di Vicenza, plus stage wins in Tour de Bretagne, Toscana Terra di Ciclismo and New Zealand Cycle Classics. He also won the latter overall, and clocked up many strong placings.

“Obviously for a young rider like me making my decision was all about picking a team, where I get the space and time to focus on continuing my development,” he said. “Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank offered me a plan for my progression, that I liked a lot, and at the same time I can be part of a team run by Bjarne Riis and learn from some of the best cyclists in the world.

“On top of that the team has two Australian sport directors in Brad [McGee] and Nick [Gates], which is a big help for me. I'm just extremely happy, this is a dream come true.”

Benefitting from the extra budget that the Tinkoff Bank co-sponsorship brings, team owner Riis has made several good signings in recent weeks. Many are experienced riders, such as Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche and Matti Breschel, while McCarthy is coming from the other scale: a young, developing rider who looks set for a big career.

“I have no doubts whatsoever that Jay is an enormous talent, and his future in cycling looks bright if he can continue developing as a rider,” Riis said, explaining his interest. “Therefore it is crucial for him and us to now focus on his progression rather than results. He is still very young and therefore he will get a protected race program. He is here to learn and grow as a bike rider, and we will support him as much as we can.”

McCarthy said that this gently-gently approach was a factor in his decision to come on board. “I have had some great talks with Bjarne and Brad about me joining the team. They made it clear to me that it is a big step for a young rider,” he said. “I know it will be tough at times and I'm ready to work hard to progress. I also know my race schedule will be looked after and manicured to fit my development.

“I will be pushed, but it is part of a bigger plan. So I'm really looking forward to next season.”


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