Slipstream, Drapac join forces to form development team

Jonathan Vaughter's and Michael Drapac teaming up to create Continental team that will focus on both racing and higher education

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Slipstream Sports, the company behind Cannondale Pro Cycling, will team up with Drapac Capital Partners to create a development squad in 2017.

The squad will be based in Australia and will register at the UCI Continental level, with a unique focus on a balance between racing and higher education. Team management will require riders to enroll in university courses or apprenticeship programs during the off-season, with racing to be scheduled in a way that is conducive to studies.

“I’ve seen too many great people dedicate their lives to cycling and they’ve totally ignored everything else. And then something happens, a crash or they aren’t able to move up in the ranks, something. And they have enormous difficulty recovering as human beings. We seek to prevent that. We seek to prevent athletes being used as disposable assets,” said Michael Drapac, founder of Drapac Pro Cycling, in a release issued Saturday.

“Michael and I have been friends for over five years. We share a lot of the same philosophies and visions, and we’ve worked together on other projects. I’ve been helping him scout potential investments for his real estate company in the Western U.S., for example,” said Jonathan Vaughters, Slipstream’s CEO. “I look forward to working with him and creating a unique development team for riders who want to divide their time between studies and moving their way up to the WorldTour.”

“This team will race in Europe basically tailored around when these kids are on break. When they’re not on break then they’ll be doing local races around where they’re going to university and training,” Vaughters said.