Daryl Impey Solos to Victory on Bayern Rundfahrt Stage ThreeFri 30 May 2014
Less than an hour after Emma Johansson won in Holland, Daryl Impey delivered a second victory for the GreenEDGE family. With the peloton nipping at his heels, the South African soloed across the finish line in Neusäß to win the third stage of Bayern Rundfahrt. It is Impey’s first European win of the year, and his second career victory at the German stage race.
“It’s nice to get the win, but the really nice part is the way we did it,” said Impey. “The boys committed everything for me. I’m really grateful for that. Everyone in the team deserved this result today.”
ORICA-GreenEDGE started the day with two objectives. The Australian outfit hoped to keep Christian Meier in the polka dot jersey of mountain classification leader as well as target a stage result. The four rider breakaway that included Heiner Parra (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA), Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing), Sebastian Deckert (LKT Team Brandenburg) and Tino Thömel (Team Stuttgart) played into the team’s plans.
“The break that went away was good for us,” said Assistant Sport Director Julian Dean. “There weren’t any riders in the move that had any KOM [King of the Mountain] points until today’s stage. We were quite happy with the scenario.”
“We came up with that plan that we would commit our three guys that probably wouldn’t make it around the finish circuit to the chase – which were Bewley, Kruopis and Mouris,” Dean added. “From there, we wanted to make it hard on the finish circuit to set something up for Impey.”
The leading quartet gained a maximum advantage of nearly seven minutes. At the mid-point of the stage, the gap had fallen to 4’10. A combination of teams with an interest in the finale set tempo on the front but none fully committed to the chase until Bewley, Kruopis and Mouris set to work.
“We didn’t want to put our guys in the hurt locker too much as they all have different objectives here,” said Dean. “We held them back until about 35 kilometres out, which was 20 kilometres before the circuit. That’s when we sent our three to the front, and they gave it all they could to bring back the break. A few other teams committed a rider or two but no one chased as much as we did.”
With the peloton closing in on the leaders, Voigt launched his signature last ditch effort to evade catch. His breakaway companions were unable to respond to his acceleration. Twenty kilometres from the finish, Voigt was the lone leader.
“We know a guy like Jens Voigt can’t be brought back so easily,” said Impey. “Sam and Jens had to do a lot of work in the chase. Coming into the circuit, Christian went after the KOM points. After he got those, he took over on the front and continued the drive to bring back Jens.”
Voigt was dangling just off the front when Simon Gerrans made his move. He sprung from the bunch on the last time around the circuit with Impey on his wheel. Immediately, Gerrans and Impey opened up a gap on the rest of the field.
“Gerro attacked on the climb,” explained Dean. “He took Impey as far as he could down the descent, and Impey launched off Gerro’s wheel and held off everyone all the way to the finish.”
“Gerro and I fully committed,” Impey added. “We had a small gap on the group behind us, and there were quite a few corners. We took some time around the corners. When we hit the wide straight, I was left to put my head down and keep it going to the end. I was kind of dying in the final, but I had still had a few seconds when I crossed the line.”
It was mission accomplished. Not only did Impey win the stage but Meier also extended his hold on the polka dot jersey. The Canadian leads the mountain classification by two points – ten points to the eight points claimed by Julian Kern (Ag2r La Mondiale). Racing continues tomorrow with a 25 kilometre individual time trial.