Cycling - Clarke commits to Orica-GreenEDGE

Simon Clarke has extended his contract with Orica-GreenEDGE until 2015.

Clarke, who won this year's Vuelta a Espana mountain classification, topped up his original two-year deal to commit his immediate future to the team from his home nation.

“Being Aussie in an Aussie team is a dream come true,” said former Astana rider Clarke, 26. “I think I made a big step up this year, and in part, that’s because of the support I’ve received from this team. To have the chance to stay here for at least another three years is perfect for me.”

On his way to the blue polka-dot jersey Clarke won the fourth stage of the 2012 Vuelta. Last year he also finished on the podium in the Rogaland GP, won a stage at the Vuelta a Burgos, claimed two stages at the Tour of Norway and came second in the overall classification of the same race.

“Obviously, my results at the Vuelta stand out as a personal highlight,” said Clarke. “It was my first Grand Tour and riding well there was a huge goal for me. I dreamt of winning a stage, and I did that after four days.

"I managed to continue to race well to come home with the jersey, too. It was a lot more than I expected.”