Simon Clarke close to signing one year deal at Israel-Premier Tech

Tour de Pologne 2021 78th Edition 3rd stage Sanok Rzeszow 2264 km 11082021 Simon Clarke AUS Team Qhubeka NextHash photo Dario BelingheriBettiniPhoto2021
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Simon Clarke’s hunt for a contract is almost over with the veteran Australian on the verge of signing a one-year deal with Israel-Premier Tech. Clarke has been looking for a team ever since it was confirmed that Team Qhubeka NextHash were set to fold last December.

Clarke, a former winner of two stages and the King of the Mountains jersey at the Vuelta a Espana, has raced for a number of WorldTour teams during his long career and is known for his tactical skills and in-race leadership. He was part of the ISD Neri squad before spending a single season at Astana in 2011. Four years at Orica GreenEDGE followed before he moved to Cannondale Drapac/EF Pro Cycling, where he took on the role of road captain. 

He signed a contract with Team Qhubeka NextHash for 2021 and 2022 but with the team folding so late in the year his options were limited. He had put his faith in the team surviving for another season but the management were unable to secure sufficient sponsorship funds.

This season Clarke finished eighth in Strade Bianche before battling back from serious injury to find some form in the second half of the year. He picked up a top-ten on one of the hardest stages of the Tour of Britain and then took fifth at the Primus Classic.

In an interview with CyclingTips in December, Clarke said that finding a WorldTour contract at this point in the season would be difficult but after links with several teams, including Cofidis, it looks as though Clarke has been handed a lifeline with a contract close to being finalised with Israel Start-Up Nation. A final decision is expected in the coming days according to a source close to the deal.

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.