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First Teams Named for NZ Cycle Classic
22 Nov, 2012
The NZCT New Zealand Cycle Classic’s standing as New Zealand’s only UCI registered
tour is reflected in the quality of the overseas teams entered each year and 2013 will be no
exception.
One of Australia's most successful Continental teams, the
Drapac Professional Cycling team, has finalised their line up
for the 26th version of New Zealand’s premier cycle tour in
2013. Given the consistent success of their riders in 2012, the
tour’s overall winner might well come from the Drapac Cycling
team for the second time in five years after Peter MacDonald
won the tour in 2009.
Leading the charge is multi-race victor and one of their new
members in the team, twenty nine year old Bernard
Sulzberger; a very accomplished tour rider with a few years’ of
experience after racing in many countries around the world.
He is a former Australian Criterium national champion.
Darren Lapthorne and Thomas Palmer are also returning to
the Classic. Lapthorne has already presented his credentials
to the New Zealand cycling public. He competed in the 2012
New Zealand Cycle Classic, when he distinguished himself by
leading the race for two days. He went on to finish second
overall to 2012 winner Jay McCarthy while Palmer, a 2007
Junior world champion, won stage four in Manawatu and also won three stages in the 2012 Tour
of Okinawa.
The two other members of the team are Malcolm Rudolph and Robbie Hucker. One of Rudolph’s
biggest wins was the 2009 Grafton to Inverill cycle race, one of Australia’s biggest one day races,
while Hucker is a multiple winner of mountain bike titles in Australian and is the current Australian
cross country champion.
Drapac is one of the bigger Oceania teams and NZCT Cycle Classic race director Jorge
Sandoval is an admirer of its professionalism.
“We have seen how professional the team is,” Sandoval said. “One of its riders, Peter McDonald,
won in 2009, and Lapthorne almost produced a repeat performance in finishing just nine seconds
behind McCarthy in January. Drapac will come well prepared with a full backup of masseurs, a
mechanic, and a coach.”
Sandoval expects to name five more UCI-registered overseas teams in the next few days, and
eventually the New Zealand team line-ups.
The tour’s first stage is the individual time trial at Massey University on Wednesday 23rd January.
With the tour route already announced, Sandoval singled out stage four as the “Queen stage” of
the tour, a 135km stage to finish at the top of Saddle Road on Saturday 26 January.

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