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Drapac celebrate successful weekend at home

By:
Paul Verkuylen
Published:
September 25, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:15 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for September 25, 2007
Robbie Williams (Drapac Porsche)

Robbie Williams (Drapac Porsche)

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By Paul Verkuylen Australia's only Professional Continental team, Drapac Porsche, had a successful...

By Paul Verkuylen

Australia's only Professional Continental team, Drapac Porsche, had a successful weekend of racing at home in Australia, taking two victories. The squad has just returned home from a successful Tour de Hokkaido in Japan where it won the team classification, took two stage victories and placed reigning Australian champion Darren Lapthorne on the final podium.

The Melbourne-based squad's good fortune started on Saturday, when Lapthorne, after only one day of training since returning from Japan due to University commitments, won the Midlands Tour in Victoria ahead of a quality field.

The following day Drapac entered a somewhat depleted team, as many of the riders are currently sitting university exams, in the Goulburn to Citi in New South Wales and won the event. The Goulburn has always attracted a quality field and this year was no exception, with the organisers keen to show case the event in order to attract a UCI classification for future editions.

Youngster Robbie Williams claimed victory for the squad during his first year at Drapac after previously racing for DFL-Cyclingnews.com-Litespeed team in Belgium. Williams put a disappointing trip to Japan, that left him with a few broken ribs, behind on Sunday to bride across to the four leaders with a small group just before the first ascent of Razorback, a steep climb which the riders were to attack twice.

After losing contact over the last climb Williams made a fantastic recovery to take victory in one of Australia's most prestigious one day races. Williams rejoined the leading trio of Mitch Pearson (NSWIS), Shaun Higgerson (SouthAustralia.com-AIS) and Josh Wilson (Praties) with just five kilometres remaining, caught his breath, then launched an all out attack on the final rise into Camden to which his companions had no answer.

"With just over five kilometres to go I didn't think that I was going to catch them," Williams told Cyclingnews, minutes after he crossed the line for easily his biggest win in Australia. "But I just put my head down and went for it, and when I got on, I caught my breath and launched an attack on the final little climb, it was all or nothing, I am glad they let me go."

Drapac's Stuart Shaw also rode a great race, eventually crossing the line in fifth place to extend his lead in the national series with just two races remaining. Another notable performance came from Drapac's stagiere for the race Angus Morton. After only 15 kilometres Morton joined the early escape and would stay with the leaders all the way to the final ascent of the steep Razorback climb, just 15 kilometres from the finish of the 168 kilometre event, to finish 15th.

"I spent a lot of time in the hurt box today," Morton said shortly after the finish.

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