Hilton Clarke wins 2013 Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium
On Saturday evening Team UnitedHealthcare's Australian Hilton Clarke and American Luke Keough took 1st and 2nd place, respectively, at the 2013 Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. Demis Aleman of Team Jamis - Sutter Home rode to a 3rd place finish.
The victory was the fourth consecutive criterium win for Team UnitedHealthcare in the United States this season and impressively Clarke’s third consecutive podium-topping effort.
An estimated crowd of 40,000 spectators lined the streets of downtown Charlotte for the 10th annual Presbyterian Hospital invitational twilight criterium. The 50-mile criterium is sponsored by Presbyterian Hospital and benefits the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas.
The six-man UnitedHealthcare team roster consisting of Clarke, Keough, Carlos Alzate (COL), Karl Menzies (AUS), Brad White (USA) and John Murphy (USA) proved a strong force in the race and quickly seized control of the race in a joint effort with Team SmartStop. The team led the main peloton throughout the fast 1.2-mile course in Charlotte, while at the same time being represented in a breakaway group, which was continuously kept on a short leash.
The 2013 Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium race is part of both the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) and the USA CRITS National Series.
After being celebrated on the podium, race winner Clarke told Roadcycling.com "The team did awesome. We had a good situation with three guys (Menzies, White, Alzate) in the breakaway. We were actually pretty happy with it, but Team SmartStop did a great job. They rode a nice race and brought back the breakaway."
"As soon as the boys got together, we drilled it and at five miles to go, led the race. Ultimately, we were able to get the win and second place finish here in Charlotte and we’re obviously happy about that."
With today's race victory Clarke increased his overall lead in the NCC and USA CRITS series.
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