A Maxxis-Sponsored Rider, Israel - Premier Tech’s Simon Clarke, Wins Tour de France Stage 5
In a first for rider, team and Maxxis, Israel – Premier Tech’s Simon Clarke won Stage 5 of the 2022 Tour de France. Clarke pulled away from a four-man breakaway just meters from the finish line to win the stage running from Lille to Wallers. The victory was the first for a Maxxis-sponsored rider in the legendary Tour de France.
Chosen by his Israel – Premier Tech team to go for the breakaway in Stage 5, Clarke joined a group of six early in the race. Like every other rider Wednesday, he rode over cobblestones for 11 sections of the stage, adding to the challenge of the 157-kilometer route. But the uneven roads, which caused other riders to crash and experience mechanical problems, worked in the breakaway’s favor as they increased their gap to over four minutes, although the gap shrank as the race went on. Israel – Premier Tech’s decision to use Maxxis’ Velocita tubular tires rather than their usual High Roads due to the cobblestones turned out to be the right one.
Toward the end, after an attack by another member of what was by then a four-man breakaway proved unsuccessful, Clarke went around another rider to sprint the last 50 meters and take the victory.
“To be honest, to start with, I didn’t think I had won,” said Clarke. “I was still a long way behind Taco with only a few meters to go and I just threw the bike as hard as I could at that finish line. I still didn’t believe it until I saw the photo finish. What a day. I never expected to win a cobblestone stage. Especially because they only happen every four years or so. I am happy with any stage and just try to make the most of these opportunities. I came here to go in breakaways and today was the first day the team said “let’s go [sic].”
Maxxis’ management was elated by Clarke’s victory. “We’re used to regularly seeing Maxxis athletes on the top step of every variety of mountain bike race, but a win at road cycling’s most prestigious event has long eluded us. We couldn’t be more excited to see Simon and the Israel Premier Tech team claim victory on one of the hardest stages of the 2022 Tour de France, while at the same time validating the years of work that have gone into developing world-class Maxxis road tires,” said Maxxis’ Bicycle Tire Division Assistant Manager Duncan McGuire.
Clarke’s teammate Jakob Fuglsang also did well, finishing in the GC 1:04 behind Clarke. “I actually planned on going in the breakaway tomorrow but the team came to me today and said it would be good to have someone in the breakaway. Firstly, in case it stayed away and also to drop back and help Jakob in the finale. I heard he finished in the front anyway and I was able to race for the win so for Israel – Premier Tech, it’s a perfect day, Clarke said.”
About Maxxis International
For over 50 years, Maxxis International has delivered high-quality tires to both original equipment and aftermarket customers. Maxxis offers products for automotive, light truck, motorcycle, ATV, bicycle, lawn & garden and industrial use. The company has operations in Asia, Europe and North America, and its products are distributed in approximately 180 countries. Maxxis International employs more than 30,000 people around the world. For more information, please visit maxxis.com.