Kelso cyclist Oscar Onley celebrating first pro win

Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL rider Oscar Onley celebrating winning the fifth stage of 2024's Tour Down Under near Adelaide on Saturday (Pic: Brenton Edwards/AFP via Getty Images)Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL rider Oscar Onley celebrating winning the fifth stage of 2024's Tour Down Under near Adelaide on Saturday (Pic: Brenton Edwards/AFP via Getty Images)
Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL rider Oscar Onley celebrating winning the fifth stage of 2024's Tour Down Under near Adelaide on Saturday (Pic: Brenton Edwards/AFP via Getty Images)
​Kelso cyclist Oscar Onley is anything but down after notching up his first professional win down under on Saturday.

​The 21-year-old led Netherlands-based Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL to victory at Australia’s Willunga Hill on Saturday as part of this year’s Tour Down Under, the International Cycling Union WorldTour’s opening event for 2024.

A burst of speed for the final 200 metres of that three-kilometre ascent secured not only an inaugural win for Onley but also for his team in their current incarnation.

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The Borderer was delighted to have claimed his first victory, saying afterwards: “It’s pretty incredible.

“We knew I was in good form coming here, but against the quality of guys here, I wasn’t sure how it would go.

“I’m really grateful to the whole team and everyone who helped get me here.

“The team knew I could do it. They’ve had a lot of faith in me and have been keeping me calm the last few days.

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“In the hectic sprint stages, the rest of the guys have really invested in me to keep me safe and not lose any time, so it’s nice to be able to pay back their hard work here.

“It’s a pretty iconic climb, Willunga Hill, so to have my name on the winners’ list is really cool.”

Onley was unable to follow up that win with another one the day after as the tour reached its finale at Mount Lofty, also near Adelaide, but was happy with his performance overall, helping his team finish fourth in general classification, saying on Sunday: “The boys did a good job again today looking after me until the final climb.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have it in me to follow the front guys and moved down to fourth on GC.

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“Overall, though, I’ve got to be happy with this week, and want to thank the whole team for the patience they’ve had with me since I joined the development programme, and we achieved a first professional win together.”

The overall tour title went to Welsh rider Steve Williams, its first European winner since 2013.

Williams, 27, riding for Israel-Premier Tech, went into that final stage wearing the leader’s jersey but tied on time with Onley.

Onley fell behind near the end, though, getting overtaken by Ecuadorian Ineos Grenadiers rider Jhonatan Narvaez and Mexican Isaac Del Toro Romero as they followed Williams into the podium places.

The former Kelso Wheeler’s time on Saturday was 2:52.23, just ahead of Williams that time round and with Narvaez third.