Davies: Tour Down Under is a learning experience

'I'm going to be a bit of a sponge' says British neo-pro

Scott Davies hasn't stopped smiling since touching down in Adelaide for his WorldTour debut at the Tour Down Under.

Giddy with excitement and nerves, the 22-year-old Briton, who signed from Wiggins to Dimension Data on a two-year deal, will be racing in his new team colours as part of Tom-Jelte Slagter's support crew and will be using the race as vital experience as he makes the transition into the top echelons of the sport.

"I'm looking forward to it but I'm a bit nervous, I'll be honest. The whole experience has been quite surreal and it hasn't really sunk in. When I see a photo of myself in the kit it puts a massive smile on my face but so far, so good," he told Cyclingnews before training on Thursday.

Davies was one of the protected riders at the Wiggins team and picked up a number of impressive results at U23 level before the WorldTour came calling. In November he linked up with Mark Cavendish and the rest of the Dimension Data squad for the first time. It was an eye-opening experience for the young Welshman.

"We were in Cape Town in November. It was a bit early and not a traditional training camp but I already knew some of the people. It's a massive team and there were a lot of new faces. The scale of things was the first thing that struck me. We were well supported at Wiggins but this is just another step up from that."

Davies can climb and time trial but his development at Dimension Data will take time. In the meantime, he will look to use races, such as the Tour Down Under, as vital experience. The first year of a neo-pros life is all about survival, learning and eliminating mistakes.

"I'm moving back into more of a learning role now," he told Cyclingnews.

"At Wiggins, I knew what the programme was and I knew what my role was but now I'm just taking it all in."

A number of suitors came calling when Davies became available at the end of 2017 but Dimension Data was the quickest team to make a move and it was their determination in pursuit that most impressed Davies.

"I went with my gut feeling. I went with the best one for me. They were really interested and keen and I got the impression that they genuinely wanted me. As a rider, that's what you want, to have faith and value in you."

"In this first year I'll just try and learn as much as I can and be a bit of a sponge. I'll try and learn but also try and enjoy things. I'm also here to get stuck in and help Tom as much as I can. I've not done a WorldTour race before so I'm going in blind but I've been told it's going to be pretty tasty, and hard out here."

Davies will head back to Europe after completing the Tour Down Under. He then races Abu Dhabi, while the Ardennes Classics are also on his provisional programme.

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