Henk Vogels, with over two decades of experience from Europe and the United States, joins Drapac Professional Cycling as directeur sportif in 2014. The team, which is set to re-join the Professional Continental ranks, welcomes Vogels' wealth of knowledge and experience in guiding and motivating athletes.
"I'm just super excited to get back into the driver's seat," Vogels said.
"I'm extremely motivated and really excited about the bolstered roster. We're working incredibly hard to take this Australian team to the world. I've watched the way that Drapac has grown over the past decade to be not only one of the best teams that Australia's ever produced, but also make their mark in Asia. They won't disappoint."
Drapac's team manager Jonathan Breekveldt is buoyed by the many indisputable assets that Vogels brings to the outfit.
"Henk brings a lot of experience to the team, not only as an ex-professional but also as a leader and directeur sportif. His record that was achieved in the States with the Fly V team, despite its outcomes, stands as a great testament to the way that he works with athletes and the results Henk is able to get out of them.
"From a commercial perspective, Henk's profile should give our current and future business partners a lot of confidence in the direction that Drapac is heading as we enter a new era.
"The experience that Henk brings to the team will prevent us from learning some lessons the hard way."
Vogels, Australian Road Champion in 1999, raced as a professional between 1995 and 2008 for teams including Rabobank, Gan, Crédit Agricole, and Davitamon Lotto in Europe, and also rode for Mercury, Navigators and Toyota United in the US.
In 2009, Vogels moved behind the wheel, becoming a directeur sportif for the Fly V Australian Continental team. He's particularly proud to be able to deliver the opportunity for two long-term members of Drapac to be able to reach their full potential, having previously worked with both Bernard Sulzberger and Darren Lapthorne in the lead into the 2011 season.
"Bernie and Lappers are super talents, and along with some of our other key signings deserve the chance to make their mark on the world stage. Our proposed race program is an ambitious one, but I'm confident this team has the ability to perform."
More recently, Vogels was a directeur sportif with the RusVelo team, which claimed 35 podiums – including 10 victories - in 2012.
Drapac expect to make announcements regarding their new recruits in coming weeks.
Expanding the team with an eye to its elevated UCI status, Drapac has also recruited sports media professional Jane Aubrey, who was most recently a regional editor with respected news source Cyclingnews.com
Drapac is progressing with the Professional Continental licence process, with no hurdles expected in the lead-up to the next deadline on October 1. All going to plan, the team will begin its season at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships, before making its debut at the UCI WorldTour opener, the Santos Tour Down Under.
"Having met with the UCI two weeks ago in Switzerland, the team is making great progress in regards to securing a Professional Continental licence for 2014," Breekveldt said.
"The sponsorship agreement and bank guarantee are all ready to go so we're in a very strong position to meet the October 1 deadline without any hiccups."