Clarke could be closing on cycling deal in Israel

January 10, 2022 by AAP
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Simon Clarke’s last-minute scramble to secure a new pro cycling contract could be about to pay off.

Australian rider Simon Clarke of Team Qhubeka Nexthash in action during the 5th stage of the Tour de France 2021, an individual time trial over 27.2 km from Change to Laval Espace Mayenne, France, 30 June 2021. EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO

The respected Australian is reportedly on the verge of signing a deal with Israel-Premier Tech, the team of four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome.

Cyclingnews has reported that Clarke, 35, will soon sign a one-year deal that will keep him in the WorldTour peloton.

Clarke was among several riders left stranded late last year when Team Qhubeka confirmed it had been unable to find enough sponsorship to stay in the WorldTour.

He was using this month’s Australian races as an extended audition and was prominent this weekend in the two races at the Bay Classic Criterium Series.

Clarke went on a solo attack at the start of the last lap on Sunday, with the peloton quickly reeling in his charge.

He will also compete in the men’s elite road race next Sunday at the national road championships and then head to Adelaide for the Festival of Cycling.

“I’ve actually had quite a few people approach me already with opportunities that don’t involve me racing my bike – so I have more opportunities to stop than racing my bike,” he told AAP late last month.

“I’m not trying to hang onto my cycling career because it’s my only option, I’m trying to continue it because it’s my passion and I don’t feel like I’ve finished with the sport yet.

“I feel like I have more to give.

Compatriots Rob Power and Dylan Sunderland, 10 years his junior, are fellow Qhubeka teammates also looking for new contracts.

“I really feel for those younger guys,” he said.


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