Drapac Professional Cycling will compete in their first edition of the Tour Down Under in 2014. The Australian team received a Pro Continental licence earlier this month from the UCI, a decision that made them eligible for Australia’s single WorldTour event. The 2014 edition of the race takes place between January 19-26 and mixes teams form both the WorldTour and Pro Continental level.
Team manager Jonathan Breekveldt said in a press statement: “It is fantastic to receive formal confirmation from the UCI that we will be granted a Professional Continental licence. This is only the beginning of the journey but it is the final step in enabling eligibility for a wildcard invitation to the Santos Tour Down Under.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to compete in not only the biggest race on the Australian calendar but also the first, and our first, WorldTour event of the year.”
Drapac have been busy in the off-season securing riders in the transfer market. Travis Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge), Will Clarke (Argos-Shimano) and Adam Phelan (Drapac/Jayco-WTA) were announced in late October with ack Anderson (Budget Forklifts), Jonathan Cantwell (Saxo-Tinkoff), Jai Crawford (Huon-Genesys), Ben Johnson, Jordan Kerby (Christina Watches-Onfone), Lachlan Norris (Raleigh) and Wouter Wippert (Team 3M) all joining.
Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur congratulated the team on their UCI status.
“A wildcard entry at the race has been discussed for many years and when Drapac made it clear to us they were aiming for Pro Continental status we decided that it was time for us to offer an invitation if that was achieved,” he said.
“Drapac is a group of aspiring young cyclists who get a great opportunity to race against the best teams in the world on Australian soil, which in anyone’s book us just a fantastic opportunity.”