Simon Clarke has re-signed with the Slipstream Sports outfit through the 2020 season, the team announced on Sunday.
The Australian has been with the team since the beginning of the 2016 season, having served as the team’s road captain for the major races. He was alongside Rigoberto Uran at the 2017 Tour de France in July, as the Colombian rode to second overall behind Chris Froome (Team Sky). He was also part of the Vuelta a España squad that secured seventh overall with Mike Woods and the mountains classification with Davide Villella.
“I re-signed with this team because I’ve really found my niche here in Slipstream,” said Clarke. “I think it’s really important to find your spot in a WorldTour team, and knowing that I’ve carved out a place for myself here, there was always motivation to stay.
“With a great new sponsor in EF Education First coming in and offering a long-term commitment to Slipstream, I really wanted to lock-in a longer contract that showed my dedication to the team and its vision for the future alongside my own. A longer-term agreement allows me to put a real effort into helping the younger guys that are coming into this team next year.”
The long-term sponsor commitment for Slipstream Sports comes after a time in which many were unsure whether the team would exist beyond the end of this year. Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters released riders and staff from their contracts, before he was able to secure sponsorship from EF Educational First.
“Simon is tactically astute with a well-developed ability to share his experience and knowledge with his teammates,” said Vaughters. “This makes him a very valuable member of this team. I’m happy we could secure his services for another three years, and I expect Simon to continue to play a part in our most important results.”
Clarke has four wins as a professional, including stage four of the 2012 Vuelta a España. He won the Vuelta’s mountain classification that same year. He has worn the Giro’s maglia rosa and been a part of several team time trial victories with his former squads. The 31-year-old mainly serves as road captain for the races.
“When I look at this team, I see so much potential,” said Clarke. “I truly believe that if I can make the guys more united, if I can help the group ride more cohesively as a team, I can help us all fulfill our potential. I’m really motivated when I see young guys going well or guys like Mike Woods, with huge talent and little experience, make massive improvements.