The 24-year-old signed a two-year deal with Rod Ellingworth’s squad in the autumn and, although his 2020 race programme has yet to be defined, the Welsh rider is eager to prove that he can be competitive towards the end of races.
"It was around August when I heard that Rod wanted to have a look at my files and get a quick summary of what I thought I needed to improve," Davies told Cyclingnews from his home in Wales.
"To be honest, I had quite a good idea about that anyway because my first two years at WorldTour had been difficult and I had been reflecting on things anyway. It got to the point where I had thought about the things that I needed to change and what I needed to do in order to get to where I wanted to be. It was quite good timing in that sense."
Davies signed for Dimension Data at the start of 2018. He came through the ranks as a promising U23 rider, having won four national time trial titles between 2014 and 2017, while also demonstrating his overall class with impressive GC rides at the Tour Alsace and the Baby Giro, where he finished fourth in 2017.
At Dimension Data, he settled into the role of domestique as he learned his trade at WorldTour level, but a lack of individual results took the gloss off his first steps at the top end of the sport. He could have stayed at Dimension Data for perhaps one more year, and wrestled with the dilemma of staying or leaving.
"On the one hand, it was easy but, in another sense, it wasn’t. I think that I’m quite a loyal person and it was looking likely that I was going to stay with Dimension Data for another year. I was just mindful that Doug Ryder saw the potential in me and that he was the one who gave me the opportunity to sign for a WorldTour team," Davies said.
"So it wasn’t an easy decision but I looked at it from a performance perspective - you’ve got to really - and after reflecting on everything I just thought that a fresh start for me was going to be a positive thing and step that I needed to take."
At Bahrain-McLaren, the 24-year-old will link up with a small core of British riders, including Mark Cavendish and Stevie Williams, while the chance to work with Ellingworth was also an attractive proposition.
"With Rod being involved, it’s exciting for any rider. I could see the potential and the opportunity. We had a camp and it was amazing to see the HQ at McLaren and, even though it was a short camp, a lot was presented to us in a very short space of time. It looks like it’s going to be great set-up and, from a rider’s perspective, it looks like it’s going to be everything I could hope for," he said.
"By my own admission, I’m still at the development phase of my career. I want to continue with that but also have an emphasis on performing again. The last couple of years have been quite difficult and I don’t feel like I’ve delivered the performances that I’ve wanted to and the ones that I’ve got in me. Next year I want to chip away at that and start racing towards the sharp end of races again."
Although the last two years didn’t pan out exactly how Davies had hoped, he still believes that the experience will stand him in good stead when it comes to the future.
"It was quite difficult to leave an environment like Team Wiggins, where I would have a lot more chances to win races, and then slot into a WorldTour team. What I quite hadn’t realised was how difficult that change in mindset was going to be. At times I felt a bit lost and probably should have paid more attention to personal goals," he said.
"I don’t want to be overly negative because I hope that over time I can look back at the last two years and see that the learning was massive. I hope that all pays off in future seasons."
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