Drew Morey hasn't looked back since making a mid-season transfer to the Malaysian Terengganu squad last year. The recently turned 21-year-old climbing and GC prospect took matters into his own hands and is now poised to help Terengganu, or TSG as they also are known, claim the overall Tour de Langkawi title with Russian Artem Ovechkin.
Ovechkin won the Queen stage of the Tour de Langkawi to Cameron Highlands. The Russian, who only signed for TSG in early March, claimed the first-ever stage win and leader's jersey at the race for the team founded in 2011.
Morey made the move across from the Drapac Pat's Veg team last year, citing a lack of opporunities. With Terengganu, Morey's calendar has been Asia-Tour heavy and precisely what he was after.
"With Drapac Pat's, I was a little disappointed with the calendar that we had there. There wasn't so much racing. Mainly just NRS (National Road Series). stuff. Unfortunately in the NRS a lot of races got cancelled with a lack of sponsorship and everything," Morey explained to Cyclingnews of the genesis to his move to TSG.
"I was looking for opportunities, and I knew the team coach here at Terengganu, Jeremy Hunt, and they had a spot open up mid-year so it worked out well to do a mid-season transfer last year. It was more or less whatever I could get. Of course, it is reasonably difficult mid-year to get something but it has been great and they have supported me really well. I have gained a lot of experience from these races."
Morey, who has been cycling since the U13s, nearly didn't make it to the Tour de Langkawi start line. The Victorian started his season with 10th in the U23 Australian national road race before jetting to the UAE for the first edition of the Sharjah Tour. Placing 24th in the time trial, Morey was caught up in a serious crash when a black cat ran into the peloton during stage 2.
"I had a really big crash in Sharjah Tour where I broke my wrist, elbow and jaw, which was only seven weeks ago," said Morey, still not fully recovered from his injuries. "Apparently a cat ran in the middle of the bunch and took someone out and I was the third guy down. It was crosswinds at sixty kay an hour and I hit my head so can't really remember it.
"It was touch and I whether I would make it but I did everything I could to be here," added Morey, who sits safely in 15th place overall in Langkawi.
With two stages to come, both tilted towards the sprinters and Ovechkin enjoying a 32 second lead over Ben Dyball and 59 seconds on Harry Sweeny, Morey finds himself on the cusp of helping secure the biggest result to date for Malaysian road cycling.
The Tour de Langkawi is also likely to be Morey's last big race with Terengganu, as Cyclingnews understands that Morey will join the Continental Mitchelton-BikeExchange team later this season - another mid-season transfer set to further propel his young career forward.