Hilton Clarke gets first win of season for UnitedHealthcare team

Australian earns first UHC win of 2012

UnitedHealthcare’s Hilton Clarke captured a win Saturday in the Cigar City Brewing Criterium in Tampa, Florida. Hilton’s victory was the first on the all-new USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar.

Clarke secured the team’s first win of the season, beating Luis Amaran (Jamis-Sutter Home) and Amaran’s teammate, Kyle Wamsley, who took third. Clarke and Amaran attacked the field early in the Saturday evening criterium and eventually lapped the peloton. A late breakaway scooped up the final podium spot, but Clarke’s UHC teammates led him out to the win, the team’s first after a string of podium finishes in Asia and Europe.

“This was a great way to start off the season,” Clarke said. “Once I was in a position to win, my teammates were right there and escorted me all the way to the line.”

Clarke took the lead in the season-long series, with 60 points. The next stop on the NCC is Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 14.