Cannondale-Drapac's Continental development team Pat's Veg has confirmed a 10-man roster for the 2017 season with the squad to start its season on Australian soil and will also compete in Europe later in the year. The team was first announced back in June when WorldTour team Cannondale and Pro-Continental team Drapac announced they would be merging from 2017.
Pat's Veg have been competing in Australia over the last few years with success in the National Road Series (NRS) that included the 2015 Tour of Tasmania via Brad Evans.
For 2017, the entire roster of riders are all studying at university with Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters and Michael Drapac both identifying the importance of a holistic approach with young riders.
"Michael and I share the same philosophy regarding athlete development. Results are important, sure, but so is offering a racer the chance to pursue education and personal development outside of the sport," said Vaughters. "You can identify WorldTour level talent while at the same time allowing these riders time to take classes and explore their options not only as bike racers. I think the element of having physical and intellectual focuses can actually help in terms of performance."
"It is vital that developing cyclists also reach their potential off the bike, to grow the foundations for their success away from sport," said Michael Drapac. "The Drapac Pat’s Veg program encourages and supports our riders to do just that."
Cyrus Monk, Liam White, Drew Morey, James Pane, and Mat Ross have all re-signed with the Pat's Veg team for 2017. Joining them are Theo Yates (Attaque Gusto), Oliver Kent-Spark from An Post-Chain Reaction, Tom Kaesler, Nicholas Katsonis (State of Matter/MAAP) and Jesse Featonby who is the oldest rider in the roster at 28-year-old.
The team makes it 2017 racing debut at the Australian National Championships from January 4-10 in Ballarat and have also secured an invitation to the 2017 Herald Sun Tour (February 1-5). The team will be riding Cannondale bikes next season and are aiming for a block of racing in Europe for the second half of the year.
2017 Pat's Veg roster: Jesse Featonby, Tom Kaesler, Nicholas Katsonis, Oliver Kent-Spark, Cyrus Monk, Drew Morey, James Pane, Mat Ross, Theo Yates and Liam White.