Is Drapac about to go ProContinental for a second time?
Melbourne-based outfit set to say goodbye to Australian registration
Australian-registered Continental outfit Drapac Professional Cycling's Team Principle and financial backer, Michael Drapac has indicated to Cyclingnews that his team may be on the verge of racing at the next level in 2014, once again joining the UCI Professional Continental ranks.
It would be the second time that Drapac has raced in the ProConti ranks, given that the team became the first Australian team to do so in 2008.
"We've thought of registering in the US, it's where most of my business is these days, it's highly likely," Drapac, a wealthy property developer and the largest benefactor to Australian cycling outside of Gerry Ryan, told Cyclingnews. "We already tried to register in Singapore but as a Continental team you've got to register where the bulk of your riders are. I think we'll end up going ProContinental next year and we'll probably register in the US or Asia."
After the team's one-year stint at ProConti level, in recent seasons Drapac has gone back to racing as a Continental outfit with programs in Australia, Asia and Europe. Since the team's inception in 2004, Drapac has grown to become a substantial force in the region with national titles added to victories in Australia, throughout Asia and Europe. The major target this year for the outfit is making good on their goal of becoming 'Asia's most dominant cycling team by 2013', and so far, they're well on their way.
Drapac has so far claimed two victories this season, with Bernard Sulzberger claiming the overall win at Tour de Taiwan while Tom Palmer took out stage five of the New Zealand Cycle Classic. The team begins its Australian National Road Series campaign on Thursday at the Battle of the Border.
Read Michael Drapac's thoughts on the state of Australian domestic cycling in part two of Cyclingnews' look at the realities of the National Road Series tomorrow.
Part one can be found here.
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As a sports journalist and producer since 1997, Jane has covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games, rugby league, motorsport, cricket, surfing, triathlon, rugby union, and golf for print, radio, television and online. However her enduring passion has been cycling.
Jane is a former Australian Editor of Cyclingnews from 2011 to 2013 and continues to freelance within the cycling industry.