Sept. 26, 2013–California–By Jen Benepe
Coming off his July USACRITS first place triumph, Aussie Hilton Clarke will be racing the new 3-day track races being held in California this October.
Clarke, who will be crossing over into track racing from road for the first time in the United States will be joined by United Healthcare teammate Adrian Hegyvary, a two-time Hungarian national champion at the Hollywood Championship Cycling event in Southern California.
The track event, also the first of its kind, is a sort of ‘toe dip in the water’ into the rebirth of six-day racing format, but now a kind of half-six day shortened to 3 days for its inaugural run this October 11 through 13 at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA.
“Six-day racing used to be the dominant spectator sport in the United States but disappeared in the 1940’s,” said race director Ryan Oelkers who wants to bring the once-ubiquitous format back through this event, Hollywood Championship Cycling (HCC).
“And to bring it back with amazing athletes like Hilton Clarke and Adrian Hegyvary is going to make this race really exciting.”
Six-day racing in the United States in its pure format was a continuous race held for six-days straight—with very little breaks for sleeping. During it’s heyday from the late 1800’s to the 1930’s it was the dominant spectator sport and form of entertainment for the masses, and the sole event being held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Fast-forward to today, six-day racing is now predominantly a European sport, particularly in Belgium and Germany.
The HCC race will be the first of its kind to be re-introduced to the United States, and the races will be held from 6 PM to 11 PM every day for three days.
“It’s awesome to be a part of HCC and see a real six-day format return to the US,” said Hegyvary ” It’s an incredible opportunity to show the American audience what the six-day atmosphere is like and to showcase how strong American track cycling can be.”
Although Clarke and Hegyvary ride for the top-ranked road team, United Healthcare, both will be paired up to represent Team Santa Monica, Clarke’s adopted hometown.
“I’ve raced with Hilton for four years and there are few riders, road or track, with greater tactical savvy. He’s obviously more of a sprinter and I’m more of a diesel, so we compliment each other really well,” said the Chicago native. “We look forward to going head-to-head with the other teams and putting up a fight for the win in this first HCC event.”
They will be joining 15 other teams including the previously announced Christian Grasmann and Lief Lampater.
Over the past two seasons, Hilton Clarke has landed a top-three finish nearly 20 times (8 times in 2012 and 10 times in 2011). Adrian Hegyvary is a two time-stage winner of the UIV Cup Madison (Berlin, Copenhagen), and a two-time Hungarian National champion and seven-time medalist.