Elk Grove, IL - The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team's Hilton Clarke won Stage 3 of the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove 2011 earlier tonight, while Teammate Jake Keough finished second, marking the fifth time the lightning fast one-two punch from Team UnitedHealthcare has gone first and second in a race this season. Australian National Criterium Champion and former overall winner Jonathan Cantwell (V Australia) placed third.
Securing the top two spots on the podium tonight enabled the Blue Train from UnitedHealthcare to walk away with one-third (three of the possible nine) of the podium placing opportunities at Elk Grove. In addition to the Clarke and Keough tandem taking the top two spots in tonight's finale, Teammate Karl Menzies won the opening stage Time Trial on Friday night, August 5.
This weekend's race in Elk Grove marked Clarke's first return to racing since suffering a severely separated shoulder in a late June crash at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Clarke, who is a former overall winner of the Tour of Elk Grove, said of his return, "It feels great to be back. I separated my shoulder seven weeks ago and I thought Elk Grove might be a race that I could be ready for. It is a favorite race of mine and I trained and trained for it. My shoulder felt good this weekend. I just wanted to pick up where I left off, jump back in with my Teammates and make a difference. Yesterday it all clicked and I knew I was going to have a good one tonight."
The sprinter continued, "We lost the lead yesterday and we weren't too happy about that. We had a meeting, we stuck together and we said that we always work as a Team. The guys raced so great today and they took me to 50 meters to go and I finished the deal."
"This has been a great weekend of racing for us, especially to deliver two stage wins for our title sponsor, UnitedHealthcare. All of our sponsors continue to give us so much support to do what we do best, so when we are in a position where we can win, we're going to do everything possible to get us that win," Clarke concluded.
Team Director Eric Greene said, "Hilton, Jake and the whole squad were outstanding tonight. Anyone watching these guys race can see how well they operate as one unit. This was a good night of racing and a good weekend overall. We're proud of Hilton, too. To see him get the win tonight was great. One thing is for sure, he left no doubt in anyone's mind that his shoulder is healthy and he is back."
Team Roster for the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove 2011
Rory Sutherland (AUS)
Hilton Clarke (AUS)
Jonny Clarke (AUS)
Karl Menzies (AUS)
Robert Förster (GER)
Jake Keough (USA)
Adrian Hegyvary (USA)
Scott Zwizanski (USA)