Cyrus Monk will race as an EF Education – First Drapac p/b Cannondale stagiaire during the final three months of the season, the team has announced. The University of Melbourne student joins the team in August alongside Drapac – EF p/b Cannondale Holistic Development Team trade teammate Jimmy Whelan. It will be Monk’s second stagiaire period with the team.
“I’d like to thank EF Education First and the #PinkArgyle family for the opportunity to race at this level again,” said Monk. “It was an enjoyable experience for me last year.”
Until last week, Monk, like most of his teammates on the development team, had split his focus between cycling and university. His final exam was last week. He’ll officially graduate with a Bachelor of Science, having majored in physiology, when he returns to Australia in November.
“It’s great to see Cyrus be given the opportunity to stagiaire with our WorldTour team again this year,” said Drapac Capital Partners Chairman and development team owner Michael Drapac. “On top of his impressive cycling results, he has also just completed his science degree from one of Australia’s most prestigious universities. Cyrus’ #wholeathlete perspective has prepared him well for this next phase in his life, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this remarkable young man can achieve.”
Monk, who is the reigning U23 Australian national road champion and defending world university champion, is currently in Europe with Drapac – EF p/b Cannondale.
“I’ll race in Belgium with the holistic development team until the end of July,” Monk explained. “The plan at this stage is then to race the World University Championships, which happen at the very start of August, and go into racing with the WorldTour team after that.”
During his 2017 stagiaire period, Monk was part of the team who took three stage wins at Tour of Alberta and Rigoberto Uran’s podium at Giro dell’Emilia.
“My main strength is my versatility,” said Monk. “I can be useful to the team over different terrain and in several different sorts of race scenarios. I managed to do the sprint lead-outs successfully with the team last year at Tour of Alberta and also play a supporting role to our climbers in the medium mountain days.”
“Last year I gained a lot from the more experienced riders on the team that I was lucky enough to race with across three different continents,” said Monk. “I got experience racing at a higher level than I had before. Now that I’ve finished my university coursework and am in my final year of U23, I’m hoping to cement my place at this level.
“That’s ideally what I’d like to get out of the stagiaire period this year. Hopefully I can show in the rides I get this year that I’m ready to take this next step.”