Another narrow second for Impey on stage 4 of Tour Down UnderFri 19 Jan 2018
South African Daryl Impey has finished a narrow second place to world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in a reduced bunch sprint on stage four of the Tour Down Under today.
After a second place on stage two behind teammate Caleb Ewan, collective bonus seconds have Impey in second place overall, two seconds behind Sagan, with the decisive Willunga stage up tomorrow.
The hot weather again deterred the enthusiasm of much of the peloton as two riders - Zak Dempster and Alex Porter - from UniSA found themselves alone in front. The duo rode out to over nine-minutes advantage as they entered the final 100km of the stage to Uraidla.
It was Mitchelton-SCOTT who controlled once again, with the bulk of the early work done by new recruit Jack Bauer before Australian champion Alex Edmondson took over, joined by Bora-Hansgrohe.
Dempster surged ahead of his teammate in front but the peloton gradually worked to reel him in. The gap was down to five minutes with 50km to go and the race back together with 19km remaining.
New course, unpredictable finish:
With the Norton Summit finale predicted by many to be decisive in the overall standings, tensions were high as riders jostled for position heading onto the climb.
The heat may have prevented any full-blown attacks but a hard tempo set by BMC Racing whittled the bunch to around 30 riders by the summit.
Whilst a number of small attacks attempted to break the small group in the run in to the finish, it was eventually a reduced bunch kick with Sagan coming off Impey’s wheel to pip him on the line.
Daryl Impey – 2nd place:
“It’s a pity not to get the win today but I lost to the world champion.”
“It was actually a lot easier than I thought up the climb, I knew it would be a bit of cat and mouse in the final but I just needed to get there.”
“I knew with Sagan there the only way to beat him was to surprise him. I thought I did that but he still came back around me. I am still happy with the result.”
“We still have a chance with the GC, but Willunga is a whole different ball game. It’s a totally different climb, tomorrow is a lot steeper and after a super-hot day today everybody bounces back differently.
“If I have the same legs as I had today then anything is possible.”
“It was the plan for me to be up the front today and so the lion’s share of the work and keep the break in check.”
“When you have the jersey it’s always important to show a presence at the front and not to necessarily to take control of the race but if no one else does, then that’s kind of our job.
“We might not have had the out-and-out favourite but we had a clear contender and hats off to Impey he had a mammoth ride.”