That was tough man: Drapac Cycling teammates Adam Semple (left) and Darren Lapthorne reflect on stage six up the Genting Highlands.
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Red brigade aim to better four stage wins of 2011
While they were able to animate the Tour de Langkawi that finished on Sunday, Australian continental team Drapac were unable to come away with that elusive stage win. The team came close twice, in the opening time trial with Adam Phelan, and on stage 5 when Darren Lapthorne was edged in a two-man sprint with eventual overall winner Jose Serpa (Androni-Giacottoli).
But despite the near misses, the team showed its clearly hitting form early in the year and it'll be hoping to capitalise on that fact when it arrives for the seven day Tour de Taiwan, March 10-16. The team has fond memories of the Asian stage race, now classified as 2.1 by the UCI, having picked up an impressive four stage wins last year. Team manager Jonathan Breekveldt explained that the focus will be on trying to emulate what they did in Langkawi, insisting that the team has been close to wins for a reason.
"We will continue to use similar tactics and strategy to what was used in Langkawi with Darren looking for a strong GC result and Floris and Rhys looking for success in the breakaways. This netted the team strong results in Malaysia with several podiums and the yellow jersey, something which Darren has worn at the past two tours he has raced," said Breekveldt.
The selected team have all recently completed the Tour de Langkawi (Amir with the Malaysian National Team) coupled with adequate recovery this week in Kuala Lumpur are in excellent condition and very well prepared for the seven stages in Taiwan.
The Drapac line up for the Tour de Taiwan: Darren Lapthorne (Aus), Floris Goesinnen (Ned), Rhys Pollock (Aus), Adam Semple (Aus), Amir Rusli (Mas)