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American rider Scott McGill (Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling) took the first pro win of his career on stage 1 of the Volta a Portugal and the 23-year-old has set his sights on competing for more honors and the green jersey as the race continues.
The American finished second on stage 2 and currently leads the green jersey competition.
“I guess I can say that I’m relieved. To be close all year and to finally get a win at this race, I don’t think that it’s sunk in yet. Really,” McGill told VeloNews in a phone call on Saturday evening after his second place on stage 2.
“We knew that we had a chance in the sprint because it was a harder sprint. We were on the front a little earlier than we wanted but given the technical nature of the finish it was important. Noah Granigan was a huge part of the win and then I just had to let a few wheels go before I popped around them.
“I feel a little bit disappointed with second today but if yesterday didn’t happen then this would still be the biggest result of my career. So I don’t think that I can be too disappointed. We also kept the green jersey as well.”
The green jersey was not a primary aim for McGill or his team heading into the race but with a slender lead and some fast legs it has now become a possible objective as the race opens up.
“At the first meeting we had we decided that we weren’t going for any jerseys but this has fallen in our laps so we’ll probably try and keep it, or look at what it takes to keep it. We’re just going day-by-day,” he said.
McGill has been on the US circuit for a several years now, and spent a long stint with Mike Creed’s Aevolo team before moving to Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling at the start of this year.
“I just started road racing when I was 17 but I’ve been racing since I was nine and slowly progressing each year. I’ve not had a breakout year but I’ve been slowly getting a bit better. I was on Aevolo for two and half years and this year it’s all coming together.”
The Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling team is certainly punching above its weight in Portugal but McGill puts that down to the vibe and work rate of the squad.
“We have a great group of guys and we ride as a team which is important. At this race every team has a big bus and we have a van, and a car with no AC. We don’t have chairs so we’re sitting on the ground before each stage and then kicking ass. You don’t need all the flashy stuff,” he said.