GreenEdge adds Simon Clarke to list of confirmed riders for 2012
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

GreenEdge adds Simon Clarke to list of confirmed riders for 2012

by VeloNation Press at 5:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Strong recent form is followed by news of new contract

Simon ClarkeCurrent Astana rider Simon Clarke has confirmed that he will be part of the GreenEdge team next season, the former world junior track champion inking a deal to ride for the new Australian squad.

He joins already-confirmed riders Jack Bobridge, Cameron Meyer, Travis Meyer (currently Garmin-Cervélo), Simon Gerrans (Sky Procycling), Daniel Teklehaymanot (UCI WCC), Stuart O'Grady (Leopard-Trek), Pieter Weening, Sebastian Langeveld (both Rabobank) and Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil), and is eager to get started.

“I spent six years as apart of the Australian Institute of Sport, which was run by Shayne Bannan, so having the possibility of returning to an Aussie set-up like that but as a professional team is an opportunity that couldn't be missed,” stated the 25 year old, who is known for his aggressive racing.

“The launch of this team has been a dream and a work in progress for Shayne for the last 20-years and having been part of his development program in the past, it’s going to be great to be part of this dream coming true. It’s also a great honour to be part of a groundbreaking Australian team.”

Clarke won the Australian under 23 championships in 2008 and then showed his strength the following season when he placed eighth in the Tour of Britain, GP dell'Insubria and Trofeo Laigueglia. Those performances were followed by fourth in the 1.1 GP Industria & Artigianato – Larciano in 2009 plus third on a stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake. These results helped secure a contract with Astana.

This season he was ninth on stage two of the Tour of Oman, 15th overall in Tirreno-Adriatico and was involved in a long breakaway in the Tour of Flanders. His good form was however disrupted when he crashed in Paris-Roubaix and broke his scaphoid, forcing him to take time off the bike.

He rebuilt his condition in the Tours of Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Poland, then started picking up solid results again. In the past week he has hit a run of form, netting fifth in both the Tre Valli Varesine and Coppa Agostoni, as well as seventh in the Vattenfall Cyclassics on Sunday.

GreenEDGE general manager, Shayne Bannan has worked with him in the past as part of the national team setup and singles out one example of his strength and commitment.

“At the 2009 UCI Road World Championships Simon was one of the guys with the job of protecting our team leaders, Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans, and did a great job at such a young age in one of the hardest world championships in recent memory,” he stated.

“There were a couple of times we thought he was done but then appeared at the front of the peloton with fresh water bottles for our leaders, with Cadel eventually winning the race and Simon finishing tenth. It’s the sort of fighting spirit we want in the team and know he can deliver.”

The 25 year old Melbourne rider is ambitious for the future, wanting to clock up his first pro win and also to show strongly in some of the sport’s bigger events. “Next year I hope to be able to be competitive in the big one day races, particularly the Ardennes Classics, and to gain the experience of the Grand Tours – Italy, France or Spain,” he stated.

More details of the teams 2012 lineup are expected soon. It is aiming to secure a UCI ProTeam licence for its first season.

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