Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HL NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Clarke eyeing a big campaign
10:00am Sunday 17th February 2013 in Sport
FOR Matt Clarke, 2013 could well be make-or-break.
The 19-year-old Hagley cycling star is poised to test himself against the best domestic road racers in the country in the Premier Calendar Series, which begins in April.
Clarke is competing in just his fourth season of racing but is aiming to claim his elite licence by the end of the year.
He said: “I think this year is going to tell me a lot.
“It’s going to really push me. The races are bigger, the distances are longer and the quality of the opposition is tougher.
“But I’m going to be stronger than last year and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“The aim for the year has to be getting the elite licence and I’d like to think I can manage it. After then we will see what happens but I’d love to rider as a professional one day.”
While Clarke is under no illusions as to the challenge awaiting him, recent history suggests he should do well.
In his three seasons of racing, the Halesowen Cycling Club member has shown a marked improvement year-on-year.
In 2012, he won the Green Bike Company road race, an event previously won by Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins, while matching elite riders on numerous occasions.
Clarke believes improving the tactical side to his racing could pay dividends.
He said: “I think that’s the biggest jump I need to make.
“I’m very keen on improving my tactics during races. It’s all about knowing when you should go and having the confidence to do it.”