Past Vuelta KOM winner Clarke says he’s unlikely to be fighting for the win in tomorrow’s Taiwan KOM Challenge
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Friday, November 08, 2013

Past Vuelta KOM winner Clarke says he’s unlikely to be fighting for the win in tomorrow’s Taiwan KOM Challenge

by Shane Stokes at 11:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
“I’m happy to be here and support it, and hopefully my presence can have a positive effect on the race”

Simon ClarkeAlthough he’s got the best palmares of those on the race, in terms of WorldTour performances, Simon Clarke was playing down his chances of winning the Taiwan KOM Challenge on the eve of Saturday’s event.

The Orica GreenEdge rider stated that he last raced on October 5th, riding Lombardy, and has taken time off his bike since then in order to recharge his batteries.

As a result, he said that his form is unknown, but he is glad to have accepted the invitation extended to him.

“I am happy to be here and I think it is a good thing to support. Obviously I haven’t been able to prepare properly for this race but to be able to just be here and support it…having riders with a bit of profile helps attract some media and a bit of attention to the race,” he told VeloNation Friday. “If that can help it grow, then that is a good thing.”

Clarke is a member of the Orica setup, as is Tiffany Cromwell, who spoke earlier today in a video interview.

He won a stage plus the mountains jersey in last year’s Vuelta a España, and also took second overall in the Glava Tour of Norway. This season saw him net a very solid seventh overall in the world road race championships and form part of the squad which earned Orica GreenEdge team time trial success in the Tour de France.

He said that he plans to take things as they come tomorrow. If his sensations are good near the end, he’ll attack. However he said that he’s not sure that will happen.

“Basically I will just see how I go. I don’t think I will be up there with the guys that have been training for this race and rightly so, I probably shouldn’t be because I haven’t been working for it.,” he explained. “But I am just happy to be here and support it, and hopefully my presence can have a positive effect on the race.”

Even if he doesn’t scrap it out for the win, he’s pleased with the general progress he is making. “The Vuelta KOM[ was definitely one of the launching points of my career,” he said, referring to his 2012 success.

“From the end of last year onwards, I feel like I have really taken another step and been able to be competitive in hard World Tour races.”

The riders will climb 85.2 kilometre climb to the summit of Mt. Hehuan, which is a staggering 3275 metres above the starting point.

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