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Clarke enjoys the Royal Bernard Drome Classic title defense

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Simon Clarke will lead the charge for Team Qhubeka ASSOS (www.TeamQhubeka.com) in two races in France this weekend, which will include a strong defense of his title at the Royal Bernard Drome Classic on Sunday.

The Australian picked up a sensational victory beating Warren Barguil and Vincenzo Nibali, in very difficult conditions in 2020, and says he believes preparations have gone well as he considers the next 179km race.

This will be preceded by the Classic Faun-Ardèche (171.1 km) on Saturday, a race that includes nearly 3000m of vertical drop and has Rémi Cavagna as the title holder.

Clarke’s experience will be complemented by the inclusion of Fabio Aru, Robert Power alongside Kilian Frankiny, who had a very good race in Ardèche in 2019.

The lineup is complemented by a young but very exciting trio of Connor Brown, Mauro Schmid and Karel Vacek who will play very important supporting roles during both events.

A video ad of our team was posted on our social media channels by a dedicated fan of the team – Daniel Solomon.

We would like to thank Daniel for his incredible support and also encourage other fans to get in touch with the team to help with an announcement in the future.

Faun-Ardèche Classic and Royal Bernard Drome Classic range [squad numbers]:

  • Simon clarke [09]
  • Fabio Aru [21]
  • Kilian Frankiny [19]
  • Robert power [11]
  • Mauro Schmid [14]
  • Karel vacek [00]
  • Connor brown [06]

Simon clarke

Last year has been quite a special experience for me and I’m just as motivated to try to make it just as special this year. These are two great races that match my characteristics and it’s a very good form control leading to the start of the season goals with Strade Biacnhi, Tirreno as well as Milan-Sanremo ahead. I am therefore super “G’d” to return to the Drôme, wear number 1 and, hopefully, defend my victory as well as possible.

Luckily the weather this year seems to be a bit nicer, last year we had some pretty tough conditions but this year looks like 13/14 degrees and very good conditions so that will make it even nicer than last year, that’s for sure.

Alex Sans Vega – Sports director

These are really tough races; narrow roads with different types of climbs which makes the race very exciting but where you have to be at a very good level and focused all day.

Saturday’s race is more suitable for climbers, so we’ll be looking to see what Aru, Frankiny and Simon Clarke are capable of producing that day. Kilian has had a very good result in this race before so this is a course that suits him.

On Sunday we have the former winner in Simon and so once again we will try to repeat this success with 100% focus on supporting him in the day.

All in all, it will be a tough racing weekend, but it looks likely that the weather will be much better than in previous years: sunny, hot and dry and little wind.

It might make the races a bit more controlled, but in the end, these are races so difficult that it will all depend on the legs and how much power you have in the final. We have a well-rounded squad for the weekend and we really hope to show the Qhubeka ASSOS jersey up front and score a good result.

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