It was a great start for the Australian Team Drapac at the Tour of Langkawi with Adam Phelan and Darren Lapthorne finishing second and third behind American star David Zabriskie Garmin-Barracuda in the Stage 1 time trial.
Top 10 Tour de France finisher and former Langkawi winner Tom Danielson was 4th and another Top 10 grand tour rider Jose Rujano (7th in last year’s Giro) rounded out the top 5.
In a time when there is a lot of the hype in Australian Cycling is around Green Edge, (and rightly so, as they prepare to race for Australia in the tour de France), it is nice to see the pioneers of the Aussie cycling team scene still going strong in 2012.
More than just a cycling team, the Drapac management is all about having faith in the riders, and their patience and astute understanding with riders like Phelan and Lapthorne was certainly well rewarded in the Prologue in Langkawi.
After a crash last year Adam Phelan has been on a very gradual recovery program, so to finish second in such company first time back on the bike is an amazing story of recovery.
Meanwhile, after years on the road in the Pro Peloton, Lapthorne is back in Australia working, with Drapac building a program for the former Aussie Champ to keep him on the bike.
Clearly by his podium finish, juggling work and training hasn’t hurt his cycling.
The Stage 1 Langkawi result is an excellent reminder of the great contribution team owner Michael Drapac has made to Australian Cycling.
While on a side note, Phelan success might provide another former Drapac rider with a bit of a lift, with GreenEDGE star Mitch Docker currently recovering from a similar injury.