With the 2014 Zarraffa's Oceania Road Championships kicking off in Toowoomba, Queensland on Friday, February 21 until Sunday February 23, Drapac have signalled their intent by sending along a strong 14-man team. Directeur Sportif, Henk Vogels believes that Drapac is set for a big performance, particularly in the Elite Men's Road Race on Sunday after impressing over the Australian summer of racing.
"We really want to go up there and win the race. We've got the weight in numbers and we've got some strong guys that are chomping at the bit to get up the road," Vogels said.
"It is a numbers game and we'll hopefully make sure that we have the most amount of guys up the road and if not we've got a very fast sprinter in Jonathan Cantwell sitting back."
On Wednesday last week, reigning Australian Under-23 Individual Time Trial Champion Jordan Kerby fractured his collarbone in a training accident which required surgery and has ruled him out of the Championships.
The silver medallist in last year’s road race and new signing, Jack Anderson has completed extensive reconnaissance of the Toowoomba course and is relishing the opportunity of racing says on the "hard" parcours.
"It's not a climbing course and it's not a flat course – it's fair and very open to anyone," Anderson said.
"It's not particularly hard when you look at the elevation gain and loss over the course but it's just up and down all day. There's no real respite. It will be hot and windy and dry and a hard man's day even though it's still only quite short at about 140km."
Anderson will also compete in the time trial and explained that off the back of his eighth placing in the discipline at the Australian national championships last month, another top-10 is more than possible.
"I know that Luke Durbridge is extremely motivated to win it so he's a genuine talent," Anderson said. "If I had a top five placing that would be just fantastic. I haven't targeted the time trial specifically so I'm more here for the road race."
Adam Phelan is yet to ride the race against the clock so far this season and is looking forward to testing himself against a quality field.
"Definitely for the TT it's Luke Durbridge so he's number one for that one," said Phelan. "It's really exciting to have him race there so you'll be able to gauge how you're going against one of the best in the world."
ITT Squad: Adam Phelan, Darren Lapthorne, Lachlan Norris, Travis Meyer, Jack Anderson, Will Clarke
Road Squad: Will Clarke, Jack Anderson, Travis Meyer, Malcom Rudolph, Lachlan Norris, Darren Lapthorne, Adam Phelan, Jonathan Cantwell, Jai Crawford, Robbie Hucker, Ben Johnson, Thomas Palmer, Bernie Sulzberger, Wes Sulzberger