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.
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