Jun 10, 2013

Article from Bike World News:

Aldo seals the victory!

Photo credit: Bike World News
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team sprinter, Aldo Ilesic, won the 2013 Air Force Association Cycling Classic’s Clarendon Cup on Saturday, June 8, in a highly contested finish where the Slovenian fastman was able to best two charging riders from Jamis—Hagens Berman, Demis Aleman and Luis Amaran, who finished second and third, respectively.

The win marks the fourth year in a row Team UnitedHealthcare has been able to win in Arlington. Ilesic’s teammates, Jake Keough and Robert Forster, were instrumental in helping deliver him to the line and subsequently to the top step on the podium. In addition, Jonny Clarke helped lead the Blue Train through the final laps, while Danny Summerhill was also outstanding on the day, getting away in what would prove to be the decisive break with Ilesic and five other riders and shepherding Ilesic to victory.

Aldo riding the break before his win.

Photo credit: Cycling News
Reflecting on his win, Ilesic thanked and credited his teammates for their effort.
“I can’t thank the guys enough for the great teamwork today. Getting the victory would not have been possible without this group working together and I credit the whole team,” he said.
The newly-crowned Clarendon Cup champion added, “There were a lot of attacks before our break went, but our break stuck and once we were able to stay away, Danny did a lot of work with the other guys. Once the situation was right, we were able to lap the field. After we lapped the field, the whole team stayed in front and kept me in perfect position and then we just rode it like a normal race. The guys led me out, and as we came out of the last turn, we had a huge gap on everyone else and we were able to come away with the win.”

Summerhill, who was the engine driving the breakaway that lapped the field, said, “The biggest thing today was staying safe and accomplishing that was one of my most important goals. Keeping the momentum going for our team is a big goal, too.”

“This team is so dialed in right now and so fine-tuned when it comes to these races. This is my first time doing this race after seeing it in cycling movies and hearing about it for years, so it is great to say that I have done it myself. You always learn things at these races and that makes us better. This is a fun, cohesive race and races like this are the ones you love to do,” Summerhill concluded.

Aldo in the omnium leaders jersey!

Photo credit: Cycling News
General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo, talked about the work of his Blue Train’s charges in Northern Virginia, saying, “The squad assembled for Air Force is a different squad than the ones typically put together for the criteriums. Nonetheless, the team finds a way to come together quickly and delivered a perfect lead out for Aldo. The members of this team are just selfless and work together for the benefit of the entire unit. Jake and Robert were instrumental and it was great seeing a little guy like Jake taking Aldo – who is built like an 18-wheeler – to the line! It’s a great sight and I couldn’t be prouder of these guys.”

The 16th edition of the prestigious technical criterium in the heart of Arlington’s Clarendon Business District has been an important stop on the National Criterium Calendar (NCC) for more than 10 years.  The race helps support America’s wounded Airmen through its partnership with the Air Force Association.

Congratulations, Aldo!!

PCG Coach: Hunter Allen