The Australian Continental squad Drapac Professional Cycling has formally announced it will apply for a Professional Continental license for the 2014 season. The news comes off the back of recent statements made by the team's principal Michael Drapac to Cyclingnews that the team was on the verge of upgrading its status once again. The team had previously held Pro Continental status in 2007.
Drapac had stated the team was considering applying for a US license or an Asian-based registration but the most recent team statement confirming the move to Pro Continental next year suggests that decision is yet to be finalised; "the approval of this license will give the opportunity to see two Australian teams in any event on the world calendar".
"The team has been working for 18 months on returning to a Professional Continental license," said Drapac. "It's just been a matter of picking the right time and that is now."
"We have conducted extensive investigations into the requirements of this application and having previously held the license in 2007 are confident that with the financial underwriting of the Drapac Group our application will be successful" said team manager Jonathan Breekveldt.
"In the coming months we will be talking to and inviting both current and new partners to join us on our new journey. We will also further outline the sportive blueprint for the coming years to make sure we are fully prepared for the upcoming challenge."
Michael Drapac has long pushed for his team to be invited to Australia's only WorldTour event, the Santos Tour Down Under however, with much of the Drapac Group shifting its focus to the US market, a start at Tour of California is also high on the agenda.
"The teams racing program will be extended to the America Tour with a large focus being placed on attracting invitations to both the Tour of California and the Tour Down Under whilst still continuing to feature prominently in Asia," read the statement.
For the moment the Drapac squad is focussed on improving its results in the Subaru National Road Series with the next round coming up at the Tour of Toowoomba.
The team experienced mixed results at the just-completed Battle on the Border and despite picking up 5th and 10th in the general classification and taking second and third in the final stage to Salt Village, will be looking for more at the tour in Toowoomba which runs from 9-12 May.