McCarthy to Saxo Bank as neo-pro

Jay McCarthy will make his professional debut with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank in the coming year. The 20-year-old Australian signed a two-year contract with the Danish WorldTour team.

McCarthy, who has been with Jayco-AIS the last two years, has six wins this season. Most recently he won the prologue of the Tour de l'Avenir. He has also taken stage wins at the Tour de Bretagne - Trophee des Granitiers, Toscana - Coppa delle Nazioni and the New Zealand Cycle Classic, where he also won the overall title. He also won the one-day race Trofeo Piva Banca Popolare di Vicenza.

"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,” said team owner Bjarne Riis on the team website. “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.”

McCarthy was happy with this next step in his career. “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,” he said.

He acknowledged that “it is a big step for a young rider, but 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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