Who is Oscar Onley, the 19-year-old upstart who almost overturned Jonas Vingegaard?

DSM development team rider Onley pushed Tour de France champion Vingegaard to the limit in CRO Race last week.

Photo: Cor Vos, courtesy Team DSM

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Who is Oscar Onley?

Jonas Vingegaard was most likely thinking the same when the 19-year-old Scotsman last week shot into the spotlight by nearly bettering the Tour de France champion twice in three days.

DSM development squad rider Onley emerged from the shadows and pushed Vingegaard to the limit in the CRO Race last week.

The Scottish sensation brought the reigning yellow jersey to the line in two of Croatia’s hilltop finishes to score a brace of palmarès-busting second-places and take home the best young rider’s jersey.

“Finishing up a cool week in Croatia with third on GC. Big thanks to Team DSM for the opportunity and to the whole team for all their work this week,” Onley wrote Sunday.

Also read: Vingegaard denies Onley in Croatia

Onley had been on the fringes of the youth ranks for some time but shot to the center in Croatia.

A top-10 in this year’s “Baby Giro” and podium finish behind present and future Ineos Grenadiers riders Leo Hayter and Ben Turner in the British national TT last year saw the DSM devo star show promise.

His unexpected emergence in Croatia left Vingegaard pressured for every pedalstroke as the 19-year-old talent put the returning Dane in trouble in two close-fought sprints.

“It was a man-to-man fight for the win on the last climb, and Oscar could once again go for the win and battle against the Tour de France winner,” DSM coach Wilbert Broekhuizen said after the second near-miss Saturday. “He was really close to it so he is a bit disappointed that he couldn’t take the stage win but it is still a really nice result.”

Onley followed a route tried, tested, and approved by British riders of his generation.

After racing through Scotland since the age of 10, Onley took funding from the Rayner Foundation, a British charity dedicated to supporting new stars.

At the age of 17, he moved to Europe, rode with the Van Rysel-AG2R La Mondiale feeder team, and decided it may be wise to learn French.

DSM snapped up the Scot in 2021 and he’s now set to remain in the Conti-level crew through 2023.

“I think the GC path is the one the team and I are taking with my development,” Onley told U23 Cycling Zone this summer.

“My TT isn’t the worst, I can TT well if the course suits me. I have to say that in the future, I’d like to focus on my TT and on longer climbs, rather than the short, punchy efforts in the Ardennes.”

Remember the name. Croatia could have chiseled a new diamond.

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