Roswell, GA – Following up on Teammate Boy Van Poppel’s second place finish in last night’s Athens Twilight Criterium, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s Jake Keough (USA) and Hilton Clarke (AUS) blasted through the finish line this evening in Roswell, Georgia, at the Historic Roswell Criterium, securing the first and second place spots on the podium tonight. The win was Keough’s first of the year and the Team’s third overall on the season, and the Keough-Clarke one-two punch in Roswell pushed the squad’s total podium count to 12 this year.
With less than 30 minutes left in the race, officials had to stop and restart the race due to a huge crash and pile-up involving more than 40 riders. Once the race resumed, however, the Blue Train from Team UnitedHealthcare took control and never looked back, with all eight riders controlling a lightning fast lead out that delivered Keough and Clarke to the podium.
“This Team was unbelievable tonight,” said Keough on his win. “Getting on the podium in this sport is not easy and it requires a full team effort. When our Team takes the front, it’s a beautiful ride, and when you have guys working as hard as this group does, you don’t want to let them down. Everyone did their part and I put the responsibility on myself to deliver the victory and make sure everyone’s hard work paid off.”
Keough also commented on the atmosphere surrounding the race. “The Southeastern Criteriums are great races to compete in. The fans, the weather, the races, and the overall environment here in Roswell and last night in Athens were awesome! Winning the Historic Roswell Criterium feels great and I’m glad Hilton (Clarke) and I were able to land on the podium tonight, along with Boy (Van Poppel) getting there last night.”
General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo added, “This was textbook racing by the boys tonight. Their strength as a Team showed when they took control of the race with 10 laps to go and never looked back. It’s great to see the miles the guys put in while racing in Europe the past three months starting to pay off. We’re excited about where we are right now. Our climbing squad and our sprinters are on track and ready to go, and we are ready for a great month of racing leading into and through the Amgen Tour of California.”
Keough’s and Clarke’s efforts enabled The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team to wrap up a winning in Georgia and Northern Spain. Since Thursday, the podium count has included the Keough-Clarke first and second place in Roswell, Rory Sutherland’s second (Stage 4) and third place (Stage 2b) in the Vuelta a Asturias, Robert Foster’s win (Stage 2a) in Asturias, and Boy Van Poppel’s second place last night in Athens.
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Roster for the 2011 Athens Twilight Criterium
Karl Menzies (AUS)
Jake Keough (USA)
Andrew Pinfold (CAN)
Boy Van Poppel (NED)
Brad White (USA)
Adrian Hegyvary (USA)
Hilton Clarke (AUS)
Jonny Clarke (AUS)
General Manager/Team Director: Mike Tamayo
Photo: B.D. Andrews