Tasmanian cyclist Will Clark team saved by completing his first Grand Tour

Tasmanian cyclist Will Clarke celebrated news that his WorldTour team has been saved by completing his first Grand Tour.

The Campbell Town 32 year old’s future in the elite ranks had been under a cloud after his Cannondale-Drapac employer announced sponsorship concerns and advised riders to consider their future options.

However, on Sunday team owners announced they had secured a new naming-rights sponsor enabling the team to continue operating in 2018.

Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of team manager Slipstream Sports, said the move would not have happened without fan support and would secure the team’s future “for years to come”.

Clarke said although the uncertainty was not ideal he had been hopeful of the matter being resolved, telling The Examiner in August: “I hope they can fill the sponsorship gap so I can still race next year. I think it will be all worked out.”

Clarke’s ambition for his third stint in the WorldTour was to ride one of Europe’s three major tours and in Madrid on Sunday he completed the Vuelta a Espana, coming in 157th of 158 finishers, more than five hours behind winner Chris Froome.