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Cantwell to lead Drapac team at the Tour Down Under

Stephen Farrand
December 21, 2013, 10:31,
December 22, 2013, 22:48
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, December 21, 2013
Santos Tour Down Under
Stuart Shaw from the Australian Capital Territory follows through Drapac Professional Cycling teammate Victorian David Pell.

Stuart Shaw from the Australian Capital Territory follows through Drapac Professional Cycling teammate Victorian David Pell.

  • Stuart Shaw from the Australian Capital Territory follows through Drapac Professional Cycling teammate Victorian David Pell.
  • Thomas Palmer (Drapac Professional Cycling) with Malcolm Rudolph on the wheel
  • Australian outfit Drapac Cycling have returned for another assault on the tour here in Malaysia.

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All-Aussie squad ready to take on the WorldTour sprinters

The organisers of the Santos Tour Down Under have revealed the line-up of the Drapac team that will take part in the 2014 edition of the race, with Jonathan Cantwell set to lead the team in the first WorldTour race of the season.

Also named in the team are Thomas Palmer, Travis Meyer, William Clarke, Bernard Sulzberger, Wesley Sulzberger and Darren Lapthorne. Henk Vogels will be the directeur sportif as the team makes its debut as a Professional Continental team in 2014.

"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," Australian Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said in an announcement from the Santos Tour Down Under organisers.

"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 Santos Tour Down Under attracts the best cyclists in the world and our Aussie cyclists always receive an extra big cheer from the crowds."

Drapac's presence at the 2014 Tour Down Under will see three Australian teams in action in the race. Also on the start list is the Orica-GreenEdge WorldTour team and the UniSA-Australia development team. The rest of the field consists of the other 17 WorldTour teams.

The Tour Down Under attracts some of the biggest names in the peloton, with sprinters Andrei Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) set to clash in Adelaide. Cadel Evans (BMC) will also return to the Tour Down Under in 2014.

Henk Vogels said the Drapac team would not be content in just making its UCI WorldTour debut in Adelaide.

"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 Santos Tour Down Under is held in Adelaide and South Australia between 19-26 January.

DAVE P 9 months ago
About time these boys were in amongst it.
bike_boy 9 months ago
I agree 100%. It is a shame the team that wins the NRS isn't given a start also. The huon salmon team is a much better team than drapac, in terms of their riders (past and present), how they race, results they get and even the owners are two of the most important people in aussie cycling. The only thing they lack is the budget to go to the next level. Drapac have the budget, but they're lacking elsewhere and have hired some discarded euro riders who I think will turn out to be complete duds. It's great they're in the race, but for the love of god, let one or two others have a start.
rocket man 9 months ago
I think the 2014 Drapac is better than huon salmon or Budget for that matter, after all some top riders from the two later teams are now in Drapac. They should be able to give 3 wildcards though, maybe they should put together another unisa type team or let a conti team ride.
bike_boy 9 months ago
I guess we'll find out :-) regardless i'll be cheering loudly from the roadside for both OGE and drapac oh and everyone else for that matter.
Strydz 9 months ago
I think the top NRS team deserves a crack instead of the UniSa composite squad, the exposure a team like Avanti Racing ex Huon Salmon would get from racing at the TDU would attract more sponsors or a greater investment from the current sponsors to help them move to Pro Conti, the structure they have is very strong and I think would lead to a quality Pro Conti outfit. As for Drapac I think they recruited well enough for the teams goals and again with greater exposure they will attract sponsors and hopefully build towards a stronger transfer period next season
Pedal Pusher 9 months ago
Disagree about Drapac hiring discarded European riders - Cantwell rode some strong races, in support of Saxo team leaders, as did Clarke who got into a few breakaways when riding for Argos-Shimano. Travis Meyer can ride strong as can the Sulzberger bros. Lapthorne has done well in local racing. Bike Boy you may be surprised at how well these guys ride together as an Aussie team. Drapac team for TDU seems to good balance- hope they do well. Great to see more Aussie talent riding not to mention all of the other high profile international riders that will ride TDU. Hoping Renshaw does well, along with Evans, OGE, UniSA.