ACCIDENTAL FIGURE HEAD
CYCLING WEEKLY|October 21, 2021
When Clay Davies became the only openly gay male elite level rider in the UK earlier this year he also became a figurehead for the LGBTQIA+ community in cycling. Alex Ballinger talks to him about why he came out
Alex Ballinger
You very rarely get anyone saying anything outrageously homophobic to your face,” says Clay Davies, the UK’s only elite level openly gay male rider. “Everyone’s been extremely supportive. The only negative comment I had was from a cycling team manager, interestingly.”

Davies, 29, who races for the Spirit-Bontrager-BSS-Rotor elite team, made a historic decision earlier this summer, as he publicly came out as gay in an interview with cycling website British Continental. Revealing how a life-threatening crash on the bike, when his head was almost crushed after he was run down by a driver in St Albans, changed his perspective on life, Davies told the UK-focused website: “It took quite literally nearly dying for me to reveal my sexuality.”

In doing so he became statistically something of an anomaly. As Cycling Weekly detailed in a feature in May there are currently no male WorldTour pro riders who are out, despite the statistical likelihood of there being no gay men in the peloton being so vanishingly small as to be close to zero, and only a very select handful of amateurs. As a consequence he’s found himself at the centre of the debate on how our sport can become a more open and inclusive place.

Now, almost two months after that first interview was published, Davies tells Cycling Weekly his experience of being out in the cycling world has mostly been positive.

He says: “The interview was something I was thinking about doing last year actually, but with the lockdown being announced, I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to do it last year.

“The motivation was, in my perception, it’s clearly an issue and I just wanted to tell people my story.”

Despite the fairly monumental moniker as Britain’s first openly gay elite male racer, it’s Clay’s confidence that struck us during our hour-long conversation. For Davies it’s not the title that matters, instead it’s the knowledge that he is who he is, and it’s the world that now needs to accept him.

In the peloton

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CYCLING WEEKLYView All

The six BIGGEST irritants of MODERN bicycle design

Which areas of bike design could do with... a little bit of tidying up Michelle Arthurs-Brennan shares her thoughts…

7 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Specialized S-Works Crux £10,750 | 6.9kg

Is racing still the core principle of the Crux? Hannah Bussey finds out

7 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

WINTER NUTRITION FUEL THE FIRE

Getting the most out of your winter training means making sure you are optimally fuelled for every ride. Joe Laverick investigates the specific demands of cold season nutrition

8 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Why I'll be in Lee Valley and why you should watch

I hope, like me, you are looking forward to the UCI Track Champions League at the Lee Valley VeloPark in December. Saturday is sold out and – as I write – the Friday evening is very close to selling out too, demonstrating that, when it comes to passion for track cycling, there are few places like Britain.

1 min read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Renaissance woman

Mountain runner, hill-climber, road racer, Zwift supremo, scientist, sheep farmer… How does one person have so many talents? CW meets Mary Wilkinson

6 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

LAUNCH OF THE RAINBOW WARRIOR

Off-road aficionado Evie Richards no longer needs to chase rainbows. The rainbows come to her...

10 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

THE RACE FOR YOUTH

Young riders are signing – and winning – for the biggest teams more than ever before. CW looks at some of the challenges facing young riders in the WorldTour, and how we got here in the first place

10+ mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Dr Hutch

Confused about what a Non-Fungible Token is? So is the Doc, but that hasn’t stopped him considering flogging them

4 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Bigham fields flood of tips on the Hour record

Brit welcomes advice as he considers venue

2 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Archibald heads to London leading Champions League

Scot proves unstoppable in Lithuania, reports Vern Pitt

3 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021
RELATED STORIES

Fresh Meat

British import Hawksmoor is a steakhouse where you can order the fish.

4 mins read
New York magazine
November 8 - 21, 2021

Matt Berry Has a Type

The actor is known for playing ridiculous characters with a straight face—the stupider the better.

8 mins read
New York magazine
October 25 - November 7, 2021

Tom & Haleya AWKWARD EXES

The Mission: Impossible co-stars are navigating a breakup while still filming!

1 min read
Star
October 25, 2021

UK PERMITS DEVELOPMENT OF GENE-EDITED CROPS IN LIMATE FIGHT

Britain’s government plans to allow researchers to use gene-editing techniques to develop crops that can increase yields, reduce the need for pesticides, and cut greenhouse gas emissions as the U.K.’s exit from the European Union allows it to deviate from the bloc’s rules.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #518

UK ENERGY CRISIS: GOVT IN CO2 DEAL TO AVERT FOOD SHORTAGES

The British government agreed to support an American-owned firm that produces much of the U.K.’s carbon dioxide, a deal designed to avert shortages of meat, poultry and packaged foods amid a crisis triggered by soaring energy costs.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
September 24, 2021

POKÉMONSTER HUNTER

MONSTER HUNTER STORIES 2: WINGS OF RUIN is an approachable spin-off.

3 mins read
PC Gamer US Edition
November 2021

FACEBOOK SLAMS UK ANTITRUST WATCHDOG OVER CALL TO SELL GIPHY

Facebook has criticized the U.K. competition watchdog’s provisional decision ordering that it sell offGiphy because it said the acquisition of the company stifles competition for animated images.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #515

Tuning In to a Happier City

Noise is an irritant of urban life. But there are ways to make it easier on the ears—and the psyche

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 06, 2021

TIKTOK TO LET USERS SHOP THROUGH APP WITH SHOPIFY DEAL

TikTok users will soon be able to buy stuff directly through the short videos on the app — something they had only been able to do through ads until now.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
August 27, 2021

Revival of the Fittest

ORIGIN EFFECTS RD COMPACT HOT ROD

4 mins read
Guitar World
October 2021