• Simon Clarke at the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné. (Getty)Source: Getty
A month ago the future of Slipstream Sports was under a cloud but now the team to be known as EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale for the 2018 season is bedding down its long-term future with the re-signing of Australian Simon Clarke.
By
Cycling Central

2 Oct 2017 - 10:00 AM 

Clarke has been contributing as the team’s road captain since he signed on with Slipstream in 2016 and recently helped guide team-mate Rigoberto Uran to a second place overall at the 2017 Tour de France in July. The contract extension takes the 31-year-old to 2020 with the organisation.

The contract extension takes the 31-year-old to 2020 with the organisation.

“I re-signed with this team because I’ve really found my niche here in Slipstream,” Clarke said. “I think it’s really important to find your spot in a WorldTour team, and knowing that I’ve carved out a place for myself here, there was always motivation to stay.

“With a great new sponsor in EF Education First coming in and offering a long-term commitment to Slipstream, I really wanted to lock-in a longer contract that showed my dedication to the team and its vision for the future alongside my own.

"A longer-term agreement allows me to put a real effort into helping the younger guys that are coming into this team next year.”

Cannondale-Drapac saved as new sponsor enters
The Cannondale-Drapac will ride on in 2018 thanks to a newly inked deal with EF Education First. The family-owned global education company will become the first naming partner of the American-registered squad in 2018 and will eventually become majority owner of the company behind the team, Slipstream Sports.

While he continues to harbour personal ambitions, Clarke is equally motivated by captaining his teammates to success out on the road.

“When I look at this team, I see so much potential,” he said. “I truly believe that if I can make the guys more united, if I can help the group ride more cohesively as a team, I can help us all fulfil our potential.

"I’m really motivated when I see young guys going well or guys like Mike Woods, with huge talent and little experience, make massive improvements."