Aussie cycling starts to shine in race debut
Drapac Professional Cycling will make its debut at the Santos Tour Down Under with a seven-man roster featuring some of Australia’s best cyclists as well as some up-and-coming stars.
In an event first, a wild card invitation was extended to Drapac Professional Cycling as an Australian Pro Continental team, the second tier of professional road cycling competition.
Drapac Professional Cycling’s roster includes former Australian road race champion Travis Meyer who has transferred from Orica-GreenEDGE, Australia’s only UCI Pro Tour team.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said Drapac Professional Cycling’s debut at the Santos Tour Down Under was fantastic for Australian cycling.
“The Santos Tour Down Under attracts the best cyclists in the world and our Aussie cyclists always receive an extra big cheer from the crowds,” Mr Bignell said.
“Drapac Professional Cycling’s roster announced today will see another seven Australians added to the world-class line up of professional cyclists competing here in January.
“The wildcard invitation extended to Drapac Professional Cycling is an excellent opportunity for our home grown cyclists to line up against the world’s best and cycling fans can expect some fantastic racing action.”
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said Drapac Professional Cycling would bring an experienced team to Adelaide.
“Four of the seven-man team have transferred to Drapac Professional Cycling from UCI Pro Tour teams for the 2014 season including Jonathan Cantwell from Saxo-Tinkoff and William Clarke from Argo-Shimano,” Mr Turtur said.
“Along with Travis Meyer, Wesley Sulzberger has also made the transition from Orica-Green EDGE to join his older brother Bernard Sulzberger at Drapac Professional Cycling.
“With another Australian team added to the line-up I expect the support for our own cycling stars will be better than ever and I encourage all cycling fans to show their support for Drapac Professional Cycling.”
William Clarke took out Stage 2 of the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under from Lobethal to Stirling.
Drapac Professional Cycling’s debut will see a record three Australian teams competing at the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under including Orica-GreenEDGE and UniSA-Australia.
Drapac Sport Director Henk Vogels said the team would not be content in just making its UCI WorldTour debut in Adelaide, with an ambitious outlook for the six-stage event.
“Everyone knows Jonathan Cantwell is quick, but Drapac is taking a very balanced squad to the race,” he said.
“We’ll aim to be the most attacking team at the Santos Tour Down Under and will be looking to take our opportunities where ever we can.
“Our guys won’t just be waiting to come off Andre Greipel’s wheel in a sprint finish. Expect Drapac to be mega-active where it counts.”
The Drapac Professional Cycling team competing at the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by manager Hendricus Vogels and includes riders Jonathan Cantwell (Australia), Thomas Palmer (Australia), Travis Meyer (Australia), William Clarke (Australia), Bernard Sulzberger (Australia), Wesley Sulzberger (Australia) and Darren Lapthorne (Australia).
The Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 19-26 January 2014.
Visit www.tourdownunder.com.au for all event information.