Double Tour Down Under champion Daryl Impey has successfully defended his South African road title, beating the odds and the numbers in Tshwane today.
As the sole starter for Mitchelton-SCOTT, and the much talked about target for South African based team Dimension-Data, Impey knew he was in for a challenge and had his back against the wall in the final 30km before recovering in impressive style to win solo.
One against the rest:
After a couple of earlier small breakaways throughout the 162km circuit race, it was a duo of Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) and Jayde Julius (ProTouch) who led the race with three laps to go before Dlamini attacked solo.
Shouldering all of the chase work behind and with the remainder of the Dimension Data team sitting on his wheel, Impey attacked away from the chase group using the steep climb on the final lap, overtaking Dlamini to win solo by an impressive 25seconds to second placed Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data).
A blistering start:
After a breakout season last year, Impey has started the 2019 season with the same vigour.
The 34-year-old claimed his maiden stage victory at the Tour Down Under on the way to creating history as the first rider to win back-to-back titles at the Australian WorldTour event.
After a third place at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Impey returned to South Africa to win a record eighth national time trial championship, before today’s successful road race title defence.
Impey’s fourth UCI victory takes the Mitchelton-SCOTT 2019 men’s victory tally to eight, with wins also to Luke Durbridge (Australian Time Trial Championship), Nick Schultz (Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage 4), Matteo Trentin (Volta a la Valenciana – Stage 2) and Adam Yates (Volta a la Valenciana – Stage 4).
Daryl Impey – 2019 South African Road Race Champion:
“I just wanted to fight for it. Win, lose or draw. I wanted to go all in.
“Even though they threw everything at me I rode intelligently and used my experience because I have been in this situation many times.
“I didn’t think I would be taking the jersey back to Europe just because I had the odds against me, just shows you it is never over till it’s over. I am backing myself more and it is a great step forward in my career.
“I had massive support from my family and friends. History made again, I love doing the double!”
National Championships South Africa – Road Race Results:
- Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 3:54:30
- Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data) +0:25
- Stefan de Bod (Dimension Data) +0:31