UNITEDHEALTHCARE Ready to tackle BC Superweek & UBC Grand Prix
Vancouver, BC – Hilton Clarke, Ken Hanson, and their UnitedHealthcare teammates paid their own way to participate in BC Superweek last year and it paid off with eight podium placings in three days, including sweeps at the Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development and the UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons.
The UnitedHealthcare team is back this year, with designs on repeating, if not bettering, what happened 12 months ago. Australian-born road captain Hilton Clarke, in his 15th year in North America, was second at UBC and third in Burnaby in 2014.
“Our team is very motivated coming into this event. After missing out on the USPRO Crit Championships, we’ve been on a winning streak of six in the US National Crit Calendar leading up to BC Superweek and the UBC Grand Prix,” said Clarke. “We have some great momentum and have Ken Hanson back with our “Crit Squad” after spending the spring in Europe.”
San Diego’s Hanson is no stranger to the races at BC Superweek after winning the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix in 2012 and 2013, a third place finish last year, plus past podium appearances at the Tour de Delta’s MK Delta Criterium, Giro di Burnaby, and UBC Grand Prix.
“The team coming to BC Superweek this year is very experienced at racing criteriums. The riders are dedicated specialists and we all know our roles to be a successful team,” said Hanson, who is a former US Pro Criterium Champion. “Last year, keeping the team up front and in the action was the key to success. We work very well together and really had a bit of luck with getting 1-2-3 at UBC. We hope to have the same success this year!”
On a personal level, Clarke feels that the UBC Grand Prix is among the most challenging races he’s participated in.
“Last year, our whole team started at the back of the field and it took us 30 minutes to work our way through to the front. We knew once we put the team on the front, it would be very difficult for the riders behind,” said Clarke, who has been one of the best sprinters on the North American pro circuit for well over a decade. “The UBC Grand Prix is also one of only two BC Superweek criteriums that I haven’t won, so I’m gunning for it!”
Supporting the UBC Grand Prix means having a profound impact on athletes both locally and across the country as financial support from the race goes to the BC Sports Medicine Research Foundation.
“The race is run by a society and runs net zero. Any money raised goes back into the race to make it better each year and to support the BC Sports Medicine Research Foundation,” explained race co-founder Dr. Jack Taunton. “This Foundation supports research grants for injury rehabilitation and investigation into causes and prevention of injuries. Other studies include cancer rehabilitation and cardiac disease prevention and rehabilitation and concussion management.”
Experienced clinicians and scientists at the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre at UBC provide leadership to the Foundation. The Foundation’s focus ranges from Primary Care, Orthopedics, Physiotherapy and Research, but also provide care for Canadian Olympic athletes, Canadian national teams, local professional athletes, and amateur teams.
BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $120,000 in prize money available during eight races over nine days. BC Superweek runs from July 10 – 18, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 10, 11, 12), UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons (July 14), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 15), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development (July 16) and Beverley by Cressey presents Tour de White Rock (July 17, 18).
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UBC Grand Prix