And Clarke is back with a team that began life as Leopard-Trek in 2011, which, via a stint as RadioShack, morphed into its current guise of Trek-Segafredo in 2016.
After eight years away – at Champion System, Argos Shimano, Drapac and Cannondale-Drapac, with the latter becoming EF Education First last year – Clarke is back with the set-up with whom he turned pro.
“There are some similarities to the old Leopard-Trek team,” Clarke told Cyclingnews at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. “Some of the same staff are still here, including Kim Andersen, who was my sports director at Leopard-Trek, so there are plenty of familiar faces, which is nice.
“And it’s good to be back with Richie,” he added. “We’ve known each other since we were 12 years old, although we didn’t go to the same school. We sort of became friends after school, through cycling back in Tasmania, so it’s good to be in a team with one of your best friends, and definitely motivating to try to help him do well.”
If ever a rider could be described as a workhorse, it’s Clarke, whose strong-as-an-ox reputation has seen him employed regularly over the years at the front of the bunch, chasing back breaks or keeping the pace high to ward off attacks.
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