Australian-based UCI Professional Continental team Drapac have confirmed their participation in the Bestmed Tour De Boland, presented by Pinarello, from March 2 to 6. The Aussie outfit, which is headed up by South African export Dylan Girdlestone, will take on this country’s top pro teams in the five-day road tour, which starts and finishes in Paarl. It will be the team’s first participation on African soil since being awarded ProConti status last year.
Drapac was granted a wild card invitation to the Santos Tour Down Under in 2014 and this year Dutch member Wouter Wippert put the squad in the spotlight with a stage six win. Since joining the ProConti circuit, the team have also notched up stage wins in the Tour of Japan and at the New Zealand Cycle Classic. General manager Jonathan Breekveldt said team management were very excited to be bringing their riders to South Africa for the first time, “It’s the home of our new signing, Dylan Girdlestone, and our bike sponsor SwiftCarbon, so we look forward to helping them in their native country and growing our brand in a new territory.”
Breekveldt said Drapac would bring a full six-man line-up comprising team leader Girdlestone, sprinter Brenton Jones and domestiques Peter Koning, Cameron Peterson and Malcolm Rudolph. Tour director Carinus Lemmer said organisers were delighted that more international teams like Drapac would be able to compete in the tour after the UCI recently relaxed restrictions on pro cyclists riding non-UCI-accredited events. He said, “This is on condition that only a certain number of riders from one team may participate and that teams may not renege on the contract they have with the UCI regarding participation in sanctioned events scheduled for the same timeframes.”
Lemmer said the window had opened up new opportunities for international riders and that organisers of the Tour De Boland were in talks with two other outfits as a result of this, “In addition to these pending announcements, we’ve also got multiple mountain bike world champion Christoph Sauser on board. He has been a staunch supporter of the event for a number of years and will bring a number of well-known riders as part of his songo.info invitational team.” The 465km tour culminates with a mountaintop finish at a well-known South African landmark – the Taal Monument – on March 6.
Photo: Australian-based UCI Professional Continental team Drapac have confirmed their participation in the Bestmed Tour De Boland, presented by Pinarello, from March 2 to 6.
Photo credit: Mark Gunter