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UnitedHealthcare p/by Maxxis - Team Signs Hilton Clarke
By Staff
Date: 6/11/2010
UnitedHealthcare p/by Maxxis - Team Signs Hilton Clarke

UnitedHealthcare p/by Maxxis - Team Signs Hilton Clarke
Uber Sprinter Hilton Clarke debuts for UnitedHealthcare  at Air Force weekend. - Team Heads to Canada for UCI Races

Sprinter Hilton Clarke will make his debut for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis at the Air Force Cycling Classic this weekend. Clarke joins the Team from the Bahati Foundation squad.

“Hilton is one of the top sprinters racing in North America,” said Team Director Mike Tamayo, “When the opportunity arose to add him to the squad, it was an easy decision. He is a Pro Tour-level talent, and he adds even greater depth to our sprint squad.”

Clarke will join an already deep UnitedHealthcare p/by Maxxis sprint crew for the two races in the Washington, D.C. area this weekend. That group includes Karl Menzies, Andrew Pinfold and Jake Keough, all of whom have raced against Clarke this year – and at various times have shared the podium with the Australian.

Clarke will also be reunited with his younger brother Jonny, who was an instrumental part of the success enjoyed by UnitedHealthcare P/ by Maxxis in the spring criteriums.

“I’m looking forward to joining the UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis organization,” Hilton Clarke said. “I’ve been racing against this team for a number of years and they’ve always conducted themselves professionally. It will be good to race alongside guys like Karl, Jake and Pinner rather than against them. And I’m also quite excited to be racing with Jonny once again.”

Matt Crane, Adrian Hegyvary and Brad White complete the UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis squad for Saturday’s NRC Clarendon Cup, and the Crystal City Cup on Sunday.

Hilton Clarke
Born: July 11, 1979
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Residence: Brighton, Australia
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 154 lbs
Strengths: Sprinting
Pro Since: 2001

Career Highlights:
1st Launceston International Classic, 2008
17 wins, 2008
1st USPRO Criterium Championships, 2006
1st Sprint Competition Herald Sun Tour, 2005

1st Stage 2, Redlands Bicycle Classic
1st Stage 3, San Dimas Stage Race
2nd Sunny King Criterium
2nd Stage 2, Tour de Murietta
3rd Merco Cycling Classic Downtown Grand Prix

UnitedHealthcare P/by Maxxis
Air Force Classic, June 12-13:

Hilton Clarke
Jonny Clarke
Matt Crane
Adrian Hegyvary
Jake Keough
Karl Menzies
Andrew Pinfold
Brad White

UnitedHealthcare heads to Canada for two UCI races.
Marc de Maar and Morgan Schmitt of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis will bring the fitness and performances they achieved at the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic last week to a pair of races in Canada, starting with the new UCI time trial Chrono Gatineau in Quebec this Saturday.

Marc de MaarDe Maar, who won the time trial stage and overall at Mt. Hood, and Schmitt, who placed 2nd in the Mt. Hood prologue, both bring momentum and results into the race against the clock.

De Maar and Schmitt will remain in Quebec and will be joined by the remainder of the squad from Hood for the Tour de Beauce, beginning on Tuesday, June 15.

Beauce offers up a particularly challenging six days of racing, the type of courses that de Maar saw frequently while racing in Europe.

“Marc is really well suited for this race,” said the Team’s Canadian sprinter, Andrew Pinfold, who has done this race at least seven times. “It’s more of a European style stage race. There are no crits. There are no easy days, and every day is pretty long.”

The race opens with a hilly 165 km stage in and around the Bellechasse region of Quebec. Pinfold notes that who contests the stage finish comes down to who can make it over the last climb with four kilometers to go in the front group. “The last climb usually splits things up. Sprinters have won the stage before, but not in a bunch sprint,” he said. “In fact, bunch sprints are very rare in this race.”

The next two days, the race gets significantly hillier. The second stage offers up 160 kms around Thetford Mines, with the first half providing plenty of climbing. Still, Pinfold says this stage may provide the best opportunity for the sprinters, which includes his teammate Eric Barlevav.

Stage 3 should begin to shake out the overall contenders, with the stage ending on Quebec’s highest accessible road, up to Mt. Megantic, topping out at over 3,600 feet.

“That climb is crazy steep,” Pinfold said. “If you can get up it without having to ‘paper-boy’ it, you’ll finish in the top 30.”

Any more changes to the top of the overall standings will occur on Friday’s individual time trial, a 20 km affair in St-Rene. The traditional Friday evening criterium is gone for this year, but riders will face a new 12.6 km circuit in downtown Quebec City on Saturday, which will also serve as the course for the Grande Prix Cycliste de Quebec Pro Tour race coming up on September 10. The peloton will tackle the circuit, which includes the “Cote de la Montagne” Street, 11 times.

Beauce moves back to Saint- Georges on Sunday for the traditional closing circuit race, 12 trips around a 12 km course in downtown, and a stage Pinfold has won in the past.

Chris Baldwin will be another of the team’s weapons for the overall at Beauce, where he finished 2nd overall in 2003. “Chris has done well at this race and he knows it well,” Pinfold said. “Morgan (Schmitt) is going well, and Max (Jenkins) is also really well suited to this race, in particular the Megantic climb.”

The race also boasts a strong international field that includes Continental Professional team BMC, as well as the Greek-Spanish Kastro Heraklion-Murcia team of Francesco Mancebo, and Amore e Vita. U.S.-based continental squads Team Type 1 and Holoweski Partners join Canada’s only UCI-registered continental team Spidertech on the start list.

UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis for
Tour de Beauce,
Chris Baldwin, USA
Eric Barlevav, USA
Marc de Maar*, NED
Max Jenkins, USA
Andrew Pinfold, CAN
Morgan Schmitt*, USA

*Also competing in Chrono Gatineau, Saturday, June 12

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