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Drapac at the Tour de Kumano
Australian team lining up for US criteriums and Tour of Korea
Australian Pro-Continental team Drapac continues its American adventure with two USA Cycling's National Criterium Calendar events, the Air Force Association Cycling Classic's Clarendon Cup and Crystal Cup in Arlington, Virginia this weekend. Drapac made its American racing debut at the Philadelphia Cycling Classic on June 1.
The team will also continue its Asian block of racing at the UCI2.2 Tour de Korea from June 8-15.
Former Australian criterium national champion Jonathan Cantwell will lead the team for Saturday and Sunday's racing and is well acquainted with American criterium circuit.
"The main thing to remember is to be ready from the get go," Cantwell said. "Ride as a team and stick to the plan."
Saturday's Clarendon Cup takes place on a highly technical one kilometre circuit in the heart of the Clarendon business district while the next day, the two kilometre Crystal Cup is a less technical course.
Bernard Sulzberger was the best-placed Drapac rider at the Philadelphia Cycling Classic in 17th place and Cantwell is hoping the team can improve at the two upcoming races.
"We went in with a game plan and we did okay," Cantwell said. "But it wasn't perfect so we will take away our errors. It was the team's first time here and we have two more races this weekend in which we will make amends."
The Air Force Association Cycling Classic will be streamed live on Cyclingnews.
Tour de Korea
While the team is occupied in America, Drapac are also fielding a team for the Tour de Korea which marks its third Asian race in a month. Drapac's haul from the Tour of Japan and Tour de Kumano was five stage victories and five other podium finishes.
The six-man squad contains a mix of riders continuing on from Japan and a few that rode at the Philadelphia Cycling Classic last Sunday and Drapac's Director of Performance Keith Flory is keen to keep the team on a roll.
"The objective in Korea is to look for performances on individual stages but then also for the team to kick on from Japan," Flory said.
For the two Japanese races, Lachlan Norris played a key domestique role and will now his switch focus to a high ovearall placing in Korea.
"The tour really lends itself to a rider like me," the 27-year-old said. "I think we have a great team here, all the guys race aggressively and are strong across the board, we will be looking for any opportunity we can get to mix things up.
"A couple of us here have been on the road for a while, so it's good to see some fresh faces," Norris said. "Everyone here now has good races under the belt and I think we are all genuinely excited about the opportunities this tour will present us."
The Tour de Korea's eight stages contains varied terrain over is 1259km and Flory expects the team will be ready for whatever the race can throw at them.
"We've got a great bunch of guys over here in Korea, all six of them suited to various stages - although we don't have a sprinter in Korea, past races have shown that frequently the stages come down to select groups rather than mass sprints," Flory said.
"So we'll firstly be looking for performances on individual stages from the guys and then if that puts us in a good position for GC well re-evaluate accordingly."
Drapac for Clarendon Cup and Crystal Cup: Jonathan Cantwell, Robbie Hucker, Ben Johnson, Tom Palmer and Bernard Sulzberger
Drapac for Tour of Korea: Jack Anderson Floris Goesinnen, Jordan Kerby, Darren Lapthorne, Lachlan Norris and Wes Sulzberger.