• Will Clarke (R) wearing the leaders yellow jersey on stage one of the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour. (Getty)Source: Getty
Australian riders Will Clarke and Brendan Canty have been rewarded with promotions to Cannondale-Drapac's top-level WorldTour squad.
Cycling Central

21 Oct 2016 - 8:55 AM 

The pair were part of Australia's second-tier Drapac team this season, and in the new-look merger with Cannondale, won upgraded deals on the 2017 roster.

Clarke has claimed stage wins in the Tour Down Under and Herald Sun Tour and is hoping to make his debut in one of next year's three Grand Tours.

“I am looking forward to having the chance to participate in the WorldTour again, and also be a part of Drapac's journey to the highest level of the sport,” Clarke said.

“I would like to win some races and help the team win races. I would also like to ride a grand tour, which I still have not done yet.”

Canty, who at 24 is seven years younger than Clarke, is regarded as a promising young climber.

“It’s definitely a very exciting time for me, and I think there’s plenty to look forward to heading into 2017. It’s a dream to be a part of a WorldTour team competing at the highest level of the sport, and I can’t wait for things to get started,” Canty said.

“It’s a little crazy to think where I started a few years ago in my first road race, and the situation I am currently in. We haven’t sat down yet to talk through my schedule for 2017, but they tend to change anyway.

"No doubt there will be many races and various opportunities, and I really want to embrace what will be the biggest and hardest season of my career to date.”

The Victorian won the white jersey as best young rider at the Tour of Oman this year.

New Zealander Tom Scully was also added to the squad.

The 26-year-old, this year moved from the third-tier Continental Tour riding into the Pro Continental ranks of Drapac Pro Cycling.

He was rewarded for his form during an intense seven-month period in Europe, impressing particularly with this time trial ability.

His best results came at the Boucles de la Mayenne tour in Northern France, where he placed fourth in the prologue time trial and posted a maiden win on the third stage.