Having placed eight in the People's Choice Classic, Jonathan Cantwell is looking to end the Tour Down Under with at least one stage win. With riders also capable of marking a mark in the overall on his Drapac team, Cantwell told Cyclingnews that the Pro-Continental outfit was out to show the peloton that they have earned their wild card entry to the race.
"One of the most satisfying things is the Australian support here. The fans are really absorbing us, which is what we want. With the Drapac team we are going to shock some guys here this week. I can guarantee you that," Cantwell said.
"We have some guys here who can finish high up in contention for the overall and if I can get some stages, we'll be a happy team."
Cantwell was caught up in the crash that ended the Tour Down Under for Giovanni Visconti and also Chris ‘CJ' Sutton as he ended the race on a spare bike. "Unfortunately just in that last corner before the finish there were a couple of nasty crashes there actually. With 15 laps to go, I got caught in a crash. I didn't go down to hard but some guys ploughed into me from behind.
"I broke my bar and did a little bit of damage to the top of my foot so now I have a lot of haematobia damage at the moment which made me a bit hesitant for those corners as it took away the nerves that I normally have. It was a little bit difficult to get maximum performance out of myself and my leg was already inflamed and swollen."
Despite the inclusion of Menglers Hill on Stage 1, Cantwell is optimistic for his chances to come away with a good result. "I did the stage last year and actually finished third. I'm a little bit lighter, I've had a few training camps and I'm actually feeling better than I was last year. Fingers crossed I can go for a stage win tomorrow," Cantwell explained to Cyclingnews.
Having raced the Tour Down previously, Cantwell has been buoyed by the reception Drapac have received so far and is set for a big week. "The preparation we've had with a couple of training camps, my training has been really on song at the moment. I'm doing good number for my weight so my power to weight ratio is really good. The preparation up till now has given me the self-confidence that I can match these guys.
"Eighth last night wasn't a win, it wasn't a podium but proves to myself and my teammates that I'm there to be in contention for some wins."