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Scott McGill, the recent winner of two stages and the points jersey at the Volta ao Algarve has been handed the leadership role of the USA Cycling team at this weekend’s Maryland Cycling Classic with team director Mike Sayers likening the 23-year-old to former pro Tyler Farrar.
Farrar retired back in 2017 and has since become a full-time firefighter, but a decade ago he was the best American sprinter since Davis Phinney. Farrar won stages in all three of cycling’s grand tours in a career that spanned two decades.
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The US hasn’t had a consistent sprinter in Europe within the men’s peloton since then but McGill has shown some recent promise. He currently races for Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling in the Continental ranks but since his volley of wins in Portugal several higher-tier teams have expressed interest in his services for 2023. Like Farrar did earlier in his career, McGill could make his way to Europe next season, and a standout result in the Maryland Cycling Classic could act as the perfect stepping stone.
“McGill is the leader,” Sayers told VeloNews during a call on Wednesday afternoon. “He won two stages in the Tour of Portugal and then he was top-five maybe two more times. He’s always been a really good rider. He was a bit under the radar and came through at Aevolo but then he was caught up in the COVID mess when it came to getting a team but it sounds like he’s getting a lot of interest from a lot of teams in general.”
“We’ve not had a real bunch kick American guy in Europe for quite some time. So McGill seems to be slotting into that role, assuming things keep going the way that they are going. I think that for sure Farrar was an original bunch kick guy for us and McGill is definitely picking up the baton from him. Noah Granigan is on the team for the race and he will also have a leadership role too. He had a little crash over in Portugal but he has recovered quite well and he’s an underrated rider.”
The Maryland Cycling Classic is the biggest US domestic one-day race on the calendar with several WorldTour teams venturing across the Atlantic to compete against the best domestic riders. EF Education-EasyPost, Team BikeExchange, and Trek-Segafredo are all sending strong line-ups to the race and the event will provide McGill with the opportunity to test himself against the likes of Michael Matthews and Magnus Cort.
“For all the guys, if they have a good ride, it could be life-changing,” said Sayers.
“The WorldTour teams are always looking for the next guy. For Scott that might be a bit of a jump for next year but you never know. He’s really fast and he seems to be able to find his way through to the front of a bike race pretty well. Even if it’s not WorldTour, there might be an opportunity for him to do some racing at the next level. If he can have a good ride, he’s also the first reserve for Australia, so he could be at Worlds.”