Jay McCarthy's second season at WorldTour level with Tinkoff-Saxo, in which he made his grand tour debut at the Giro d'Italia, proved to one in which the Australian gained further insights into his characteristics at the top level of the sport.
The 22-year-old explained on the Tinkoff-Saxo website that he is closer to understanding where his strengths lie in the pro peloton after two seasons with the team
"I've had a solid season in the manner that I've developed steadily, I rode my first Giro d'Italia and I got some more World Tour experience and power. I'm getting closer to finding myself as a rider," McCarthy said.
"Right now, I see myself moving in the direction of becoming a rider for the medium mountain or hilly stages, where you try your luck and play the tactical game carefully."
Although McCarthy spent the majority of the season working for the team, the Australian explained that it has been an important part of contributing to Tinkoff-Saxo's collective successes across the season while personally, it has been a big learning experience.
"I like working for the team captains even if it completely ruins my own chances in the race," McCarthy said, whose best result this season came at the Giro on stage 17 to Vittorio Veneto when he finished third. "Cycling is a team effort, and I learn a lot from riding with my captains. It feels as a sort of victory, when you let go of the front after having done your very best."
McCarthy has been buoyed by Tinkoff-Saxo's ambition for the upcoming season which has seen it sign several new riders, including Peter Sagan, and strengthen its coaching and sports director positions. An exciting prospect for his own ambitions explained McCarthy.
"This is music to my ears since it's so important to get the coaching as a young rider," he said of the changes. "It's hard work throughout the year, but I enjoy being on this team. And even though I've only been off my bike for two weeks, I really can't wait to get back on it – especially when the entire team is so determined to perform in 2015."