Clarke joins Gerrans in Australian National Team for Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Simon Clarke will join Orica-GreenEdge teammate Simon Gerrans in the Australian team to line up at the 2013 Jayco Herald Sun Tour January 3 to 6.

The race will mark Clarke's return to racing after recent surgery to have his appendix removed and so the 26-year-old is unsure of his form and his ability to tackle the tricky and likely decisive Arthurs Seat climb under race conditions.

"I haven't raced it before but I have ridden it enough times so I know it well," Clarke explained. "And it is definitely a hard climb. It will separate the men from the boys.

"Previous results show it will be a climbing style rider who wins the Sun Tour, but at the same time we will have to be very offensive in the first couple of stages to make sure we don't lose any time."

This year's King of the Mountains at the Vuelta a España, Clarke is also a former winner of the under 23 classification at the Sun Tour back in 2007, but hasn't raced the event since 2008.

The four-stage event is a rare opportunity for Clarke to race at home so it's one that the shrewd rider is looking forward to.

"It is my home race, it hasn't been on for a little while and now with the bit of extra following for me personally after what I did at the Vuelta, it will be good to race and have extra local support," Clarke said.

"But I am planning to be in good condition and if that results in me being able to race for myself then that's great, otherwise I will make sure I am a good support for whoever is selected to lead the national team."

The other riders for the Australian National Team at the Sun Tour are expected to be named in coming weeks.


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