Any question marks over Hilton Clarke’s (UnitedHealthCare) form going into the Tour of Elk Grove were well and truly answered as the Australian powered to victory on the third and final stage in Chicago.
The Tour of Elk Grove was Clarke’s first race back since suffering a separated shoulder in June at the Nature Valley Grand Prix.
"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," said Clarke. "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."
Clarke, a former overall winner at Elk Grove, praised the work of the UnitedHealthCare ‘blue train’ after another textbook lead-out.
"The guys raced so great today and they took me to 50 meters to go and I finished the deal," said Clarke. "This has been a great weekend of racing for us, especially to deliver two stage wins, it’s very special."
Team Director Eric Greene was also happy to see Clarke back to winning ways after his injury absence from the team.
"We're proud of Hilton. To see him get the win tonight was great," said Greene. "One thing is for sure, he left no doubt in anyone's mind that his shoulder is healthy and he is back."