The Drapac Pat’s Veg Holistic Development Team have announced its 10 riders for the 2017 season. The team also serves as the official development program of the Cannondale-Drapac professional team.
Drapac Pat’s Veg is a platform for individuals to pursue university degrees or professional certifications in addition to racing on the UCI Continental level. In addition to the early calendar in Australia, the team will also compete in Europe later in the season. Drapac Pat’s Veg is based in Australia.
“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 Jonathan Vaughters, the CEO of Slipstream Sports and head of the Cannondale-Drapac team.
“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.”
The team, made up of university students from all around Australia, will start the season at The 2017 Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships in January before racing at Australia’s oldest stage race, the UCI 2.2-ranked Jayco Herald Sun Tour in February.
Melbourne University student Cyrus Monk, who has had an excellent year on the bike, is one of five current Pat’s Veg riders who have re-signed with the team for the 2017 season. In addition to achieving his first win in Europe at the Slag Van Ambacht in Holland, Monk recently won Melbourne University’s 2016 Male Athlete of the Year.
Liam White, a Federation University student studying a bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science, is another continuing member of the team for 2017. In 2016, White spent time racing in the United States where won the third day of racing and took third overall at the Intelligentsia Cup in Chicago.
Oliver Kent-Spark, who has spent the last year racing in Europe with Irish based continental team An-Post Chain Reaction, is a new signing to Drapac Pat’s Veg in 2017. The 23-year-old, who won the 2014 Melbourne to Warrnambool, is looking forward to pursuing his management degree at Deakin University while racing back in the domestic scene.
Michael Drapac, chairman of Drapac Capital Partners, and owner of the Drapac Pat’s Veg Holistic Development Team, has always been a firm believer in the importance of both athletic achievement and personal development. “It is vital that developing cyclists also reach their potential off the bike, to grow the foundations for their success away from sport,” Drapac said. “The Drapac Pat’s Veg program encourages and supports our riders to do just that.”
In addition to title sponsors Drapac Capital Partners and Pat’s Veg, the team is supported by: Mercedes Benz Toorak and Physiotherapy and Wellbeing group, Pain.com.au. Cannondale will supply bikes.
Drapac Capital Partners and Slipstream Sports, the management company of Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling, announced a partnership in June 2016, making Drapac the co-title sponsor of the professional team.
2017 Drapac Pat’s Veg Holistic Development Team:
Cyrus Monk (20), Doncaster VIC. Studying a bachelor of science at Melbourne University.
Drew Morey (20), Ashburton VIC. Studying a bachelor of commerce (majoring in Accounting) at Deakin University.
Liam White (22), Ballarat, VIC. Studying a bachelor of exercise and sports science at Federation University.
Mat Ross (20), Greensborough VIC. Studying a bachelor of IT at RMIT.
James Pane (20) East Keilor, VIC. Studying a bachelor of education at Victoria University.
Theo Yates (20), Rockingham, WA. Studying a bachelor of applied science (majoring in interior architecture).
Oliver Kent-Spark (23), Geelong VIC. studying a bachelor of management at Deakin University.
Jesse Featonby (28) Albury VIC. Studying a masters of education at Latrobe University.
Nicholas Katsonis (22). Gladstone Park VIC. Studying a bachelor of business (majoring in marketing).
Tom Kaesler (21) Adelaide, SA. Studying a bachelor of commerce at the University of Adelaide.