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Launceston International Classic - NE

Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, December 21, 2008


Clarke doubles Launceston tally

By Tom Sawyer in Launceston, Tasmania

In only his second appearance at the event, Hilton Clarke rode a brilliant race to capture his second Launceston Classic on Sunday. Shortly before half distance in the 90-minute event around the streets of Launceston, seven riders broke clear to quickly gain a lap on the rest of the field. Robbie McEwen, Baden Cooke, Mark Jameison, Simon Gerrans, Richie Porte, Bernard Sulzberger and Hilton Clarke formed the elite selection that battled for the sizeable prize purse.

With four laps remaining, the lapped riders sprinted for the remaining 13 primes left on offer and during the confusion, Clarke attacked and smartly put an 80-metre gap into the other six riders. From then on it was attack after attack from each of the six riders; each time Mark Jameison chased the attacking rider down until eventually the local strongman could no longer hold back the tide of savage forays off the front.

Baden cooke finally broke clear of the small group but couldn't get to the even stronger Clarke. Simon Gerrans fought his way clear to finish third, with crowd favourite Robbie McEwen taking fourth place. Clarke picked up $5000 for his efforts while prizes were paid down to 20th place ($200).


Elite men
1 Hilton Clarke (Aus) Toyota-United Pro
2 Baden Cooke (Aus) Barloworld
3 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Credit Agricole
4 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence-Lotto
5 Mark Jamieson (Aus)
6 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) Virgin Blue Australia
7 Richie Porte (Aus) Praties
8 Nathan Clarke (Aus) Praties
9 Malcolm Rudolph (Aus)
10 Clay Murfet (Aus)
11 Matt Goss (Aus) CSC - Saxo Bank
12 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) CSC - Saxo Bank
13 Karl Menzies (Aus) HealthNet pb Maxxis
14 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole
15 Abe Manion (Aus)
16 Cameron Wurf (Aus) Bissell
17 Tom Robinson (Aus)
18 Ryan Sullivan (Aus) Toyota-United Pro
19 Caleb Manion (Aus) Jelly Belly