Michael Drapac’s holistic development team to work closely with EF Pro Cycling organization
At the conclusion of the 2018 season, Michael Drapac will concentrate his sponsorship and sporting efforts on his Australian-based holistic development team.
Drapac Capital Partners came on board as a title sponsor and part owner of the team in 2016 just prior to the Tour de France and has been an important partner since. In tandem with his WorldTour involvement, Drapac has also grown a strong, unique development program that places equal priority on sport and education — a sustainable way of working with budding athletes. In order to be on the development team, riders must also be enrolled in university or a recognized educational facility. The development team then works with the riders to create schedules that work for both school and sport.
“I’m proud that my philosophy on athlete development has had a positive influence on EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale, and that the team will continue to support the wellbeing program in the future,” Drapac said. “It is my hope that in five years’ time all WorldTour athletes would have the opportunity be exposed to holistic development in some way throughout their career.”
The EF Pro Cycling organization has already tapped some of the talent from the Drapac development program, in signing James Whelan to a three-year deal after the young Aussie won the U-23 Flanders race in 2018, and Cyrus Monk has ridden as a stagiaire on for the past two seasons. It’s a trend the team will look to continue.
“Working with Michael and the rest of the Drapac team has been a great experience. I very much admire the Drapac approach in the development of young athletes, allowing them to focus on sport and competition while still making space for academic and intellectual development. I’m excited to have James on the team next season, and I’m confident we’ll work together in the seasons to come to bring young riders into the World Tour the right way,” EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale CEO Jonathan Vaughters said. “And our entire organization thanks the Drapac group for their sponsorship and belief in our approach as well.”
Drapac is excited to continue his philosophy on athlete wellbeing with EF through the development team.
“James Whelan is hopefully the first of many talented Australian riders to be guided into the World Tour through the development team pathway,” Drapac noted.