Drapac Professional Cycling will partner with bike manufacturer SwiftCarbon in a thee-year deal as the Australian-registered team expands its program to UCI Professional Continental level.
Continuing with the team as technical sponsors will be Kask helmets, Champion System clothing, Shotz Sports Nutrition, Arundel, ON and Salice eyewear.
Drapac's Team Manager, Jonathan Breekveldt said it was important for partners to have the right fit.
"As a team we look for and value long term partnerships which share similar values and objectives in their businesses and how they utilise cycling," he said. "The step up to UCI Professional Continental level certainly requires increased commitments from all of the team's partners and it has been great that we can continue partnerships with so many of our existing partners as they see the value in our journey.
"We are very excited to welcome SwiftCarbon to the team and believe this is the beginning of great partnership with a proactive brand that plans to expand holistically into the key markets of the team," Breekveldt continued. "This is a long-term partnership which will grow with the team as we intend to increase the size and strength of our operation year on year."
When asked about the partnership with Drapac, Mark Blewett, owner and CEO of SwiftCarbon said:
“We’re proud to be partnering with Drapac Professional Cycling, the team has an incredible and unique philosophy which made it the perfect fit for us. They have achieved outstanding results across key territories for SwiftCarbon and we look forward to working with the team in the coming years."
Drapac will ride the Ultravox Ti while against the clock, the team will use the Neurogen TT 2014 frame which has just been approved by the UCI.
There are a number of synergies between SwiftCarbon and Drapac that makes the partnership between the two a natural fit.
Like SwiftCarbon, Drapac are based in the Southern Hemisphere rather than from the traditional base of Europe. Both organisations have a unique philosophy with Drapac believing in building strong characters within the team as well as world-class athletes, and SwiftCarbon building the most innovative performance bikes using the best international design, engineering and manufacturing talent.
“What makes SwiftCarbon bikes jump out against the competition is a unique ride feel which is a fundamental part of our philosophy," continued Blewett. "We’ve developed a word for it: ‘Equipoise’. This describes the confidence that a rider gets from being totally relaxed and comfortable on the bike. When a bike is predictable yet agile, stiff under power, yet dampens out road buzz, with spot-on fit for its intended purpose, you feel at home on it. A relaxed rider is an efficient rider, an efficient rider is a fast rider.”
Following a successful inaugural 2013 season, Drapac will be continuing its partnership with Champion System clothing.
“Champion System has always been a strong supporter of Australian cycling and when we heard that Drapac was going to be a Pro Continental team we jumped at the chance to be involved," said Chris Reynolds, Corporate Business Development Manager of Champion System. "We worked with Drapac closely in 2013 and will use them to continue to develop our range of premium cycling apparel – they will be one of the first teams to use our all new Razor Carbon range of products.”
Kask General Manager, Diego Zambon, said that he was happy the brand was renewing its contract with Drapac for the third consecutive year.
"We feel the quality of their historic performances and the team that they have put together for 2014 works in perfect synergy with the Kask ethos to strive for the best possible results always," he said. "We are proud to support the team in reaching their goals this year and we're sure that Drapac will bring huge satisfaction to their many supporters as they move into Professional Cycling."
Paolo Salice explained that Salice and Drapac Professional Cycling are aligned in the desire for performance, quality and continual evolution.
"We feel that the team is the right platform to introduce the new 2014 models such as the C-Speed. In securing an invitation to the Tour Down Under we are able to launch this revolutionary model far earlier than the traditional European season allows," he said. "It is our hope that the speed and weight advantages offered within these carbon fibre C-Speed sunglasses will provide Drapac with an edge out their international competition.
"In addition, Drapac will have access to our trusted Salice 006 when conditions call for an alternative fit and colour. The Salice 006 has experienced success at the highest level and we are very certain that it will continue to further enhance Drapac’s presence on the road."