Following Friday's confirmation by Tour Down Under organisers that a wildcard will be offered for an Australian-registered UCI Professional Continental team in 2014, Drapac say they are confident of being able to meet the eligibility criteria.
Tour Down Under officials will allow Drapac – who are set to apply for an upgrade to their current UCI Continental status in coming weeks – to start at the WorldTour event so long as they meet the following conditions: The team secures a UCI Pro Continental License for 2014; that the team is acknowledged by the UCI as an Australian team; and the team is registered as a Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) team, whereby MPCC teams impose stricter anti-doping measures beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency Code.
Drapac's team manager Jonathan Breekveldt said that he believes that the team will earn it's long-awaited start at the Tour Down Under.
"We are already in the application process for a UCI Professional Continental licence for 2014, which is a process that takes several months and begun some time ago," he said. "We have so far met all of the deadlines successfully in the application and in our most recent submission requested Australia registration. As we are currently members of the MPCC we have already satisfied two of the criteria today. So the wildcard will be contingent on the licence and I am sure we will receive this."
Breekveldt continued by trumpeting the benefits such a move by race organisers would have on the domestic Australian race scene.
"The opportunity to compete in the 2014 Tour Down Under is very exciting and will offer great reward and activation opportunities to all involved with DPC [Drapac Professional Cycling] like we have never seen for an Australian team," he explained. "Not only will this outcome benefit the team competing but also the wider domestic cycling community as a pathway has now been created linking the National Road Series to the Tour Down Under."
"This decision is one, which will leave a constructive legacy on Australian Cycling where we will all benefit for many years."
Drapac's domestic season continues next week at round seven of the National Road Series, the Tour of the Great South Coast, next week. Given the team's lofty goals for the season ahead, Drapac have extra reason to be motivated for the race.
"We have selected possibly the strongest team we have ever fielded in Australia if not the strongest team ever seen at a NRS race," Breekveldt said.
Drapac's Tour of the Great South Coast team: Darren Lapthorne, William Walker, Bernard Sulzberger, Luke Davison, Floris Goesinnen, Robbie Hucker, Gordon McCauley, Thomas Palmer.