Oakland, CA (Friday, July 6) – The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team heads into a weekend of racing in China, Austria and Southern California building on the momentum of Jake Keough’s (USA) and Ben Day’s podium-placing and top five efforts at the Tour of Qinghai Lake and Tour of Austria, respectively.
Keough scored his second, 2nd place finish in the Tour of Qinghai Lake on Thursday, July 5. The Sandwich, Massachusetts native rocketed through the finish line of the Stage 7 Qilian circuit race just ahead of Team Farnese Vini-Selle Italia’s Cristiano Benenati (ITA). Winner Aldo Ino Ilesic (SLO) of Team Type 1-Sanofi’s time of 2:15:32 proved to be the best on the day. Keough also took second place in the Stage 2, 122km jaunt from Duoba to Huzhu, finishing behind Sava’s Luka Mezgec (SVK) and ahead of Benenati.
Speaking about his performance on Thursday in China following Stage 7, the consummate teammate and ferocious competitor said, “The boys rode great today. We had a solid plan to come to the front of the last lap and we executed it perfectly. There was a crash on the last corner and I had to brake and then get going again 200 meters from the finish line. We always want the win, but we’re proud of our effort and that constant push to get on the podium.”
“The legs are good and we’re hoping luck is smiling on our side over the next couple of days,” the always forward-looking Keough concluded.
Ben Day and Marc de Maar Lead Impressive Effort in Austria
While Keough wrapped up podium honors in China, Teammate Ben Day (AUS) earned a top five spot of his own at the Tour of Austria on Thursday, July 5. Day took fifth place in Stage 6 of the Tour, seven seconds behind stage winner Fabio Taborre (ITA) of Acqua & Sapone. Italian Marco Bandiera from Omega Pharma-QuickStep took second place, and Matthias Brandle (AUT) from Team NetApp, finished in third.
Playing off the confidence gained from Day’s top five finish yesterday, Team UnitedHealthcare courageously rode the front throughout today’s (July 6) seventh stage, sharing the workload with Team Astana and setting up a late attack from Marc de Maar (CUR) who nearly pulled off the victory before the peloton caught him with 1km to go.
Team Director, Hendrik Redant, said, “It was good to see the guys take responsibility for the chase today along with Astana and to see Marc de Maar attempt a late move. Ben’s performance yesterday combined with Marc’s late effort today were excellent and we’re looking forward to the final weekend of racing here.”
A Sunday in Southern California: Manhattan Beach Grand Prix
While the boys wrap up the Tour of Austria and move through the final stages of the Tour of Qinghai Lake, a Southern California Sunday afternoon of racing is on tap for the Australian trio of Rory Sutherland, Jonny Clarke and Hilton Clarke. But it won’t be all fun in the sun for the decorated Sutherland and Clarke brothers as the three will battle against the field in one of the more popular criteriums in the sport, the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.
Injury Report and Update
Karl Menzies (AUS) and Adrian Hegyvary (USA) were both involved in a crash during the Tour of Qinghai Lake. Menzies escaped relatively unscathed, but Hegyvary unfortunately sustained a broken collarbone and is returning to the U.S. for surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery and return to racing soon. Team and staff have been battling illness throughout the race but continue to power through the 13-day stage race.
Team UnitedHealthcare Roster for Tour of Qinghai Lake (June 29 – July 11)
Jake Keough (USA)
Davide Frattini (ITA)
Adrian Hegyvary (USA)
Jeff Louder (USA)
Karl Menzies (AUS)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Brad White (USA)
Team UnitedHealthcare Roster for Tour of Austria (July 1-8)
Robert Förster (GER)
Ben Day (AUS)
Philip Deignan (IRE)
Marc de Maar (CUR)
Chris Jones (USA)
Jason McCartney (USA)
Kai Reus (NED)
Boy van Poppel (NED)
Team UnitedHealthcare Roster for the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix (July 8)
Hilton Clarke (AUS)
Jonny Clarke (AUS)
Rory Sutherland (AUS)
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