Former Australian National Champion, Darren Lapthorne, will headline a six men strong Drapac Cycling team named for the Battle on the Border, the second event in the Subaru National Road Series (NRS).
Lapthorne, 30, will compete in the five stage New South Wales Tweed coast event for the first time in his illustrious career following a change to the Drapac Cycling racing schedule following the postponement of the Jelajah Malaysia race.
In great news for the Subaru NRS, the team will also front up the following week at the FKG Tour of Toowoomba, with both races well suited to Lapthorne’s preferred style of racing.
‘I was actually pretty pleased to hear we were getting a start for the Battle on the Border and Toowoomba,’ says Lapthorne. ‘They are two Subaru NRS races I’ve always wanted to do. I think they will suit me pretty well and I’m looking forward to it.’
Joining Lapthorne in the famous red Drapac jersey will be former national road race champion William Walker, noted sprinter Malcolm Rudolph, Robbie Hucker, Amir Rusli and Tour of Taiwan winner Bernard Sulzberger. ‘I think Robbie Hucker is going the best out of all of us actually. He’s really flying and he had a good result a couple of weeks ago at Mount Baw Baw,’ Lapthorne said of the 23 year old former mountain bike rider. ‘I think the racing will really suit him and he might actually be the guy we’ll end up riding for in the tour, but at the same time in an NRS race anything can happen and we have so many options.’
Lapthorne enters the Tour on a high after celebrating the birth of his first child two weeks ago with the Victorian admitting he has found a new motivation in his career. ‘My life has changed a lot in the last couple of weeks, which hasn’t been the most ideal preparation for the Battle on the Border, but I am certainly more motivated to get some results for my family, for my wife Jessica and my child,’ he said.
Hosting both men’s and women’s NRS events simultaneously for the first time ever, the Battle on the Border will be held May 2–5 and will feature a five stage tour for men and a four stage tour for women. Twenty-two NRS men’s teams and eight NRS women’s teams will be competing, with a record total of 620 riders across all divisions.
For more information, go to www.battleontheborder.com.au.