Daryl Impey Wins Bunch Kick for Fourth Place in BosharFri 21 Feb 2014
Daryl Impey was best of the rest in Boshar as he sprinted to fourth place outside the Ministry of Housing on stage three of the Tour of Oman. The South African won the bunch kick behind a trio of escapees who slipped away from the front group on the downhill run in towards the line. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) easily outsprinted Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) ahead of a fast-closing chase group. Sagan’s stage win earned him the red leader’s jersey.
“Full credit to Santa [Ivan Santaromita] and Cam [Meyer],” said Impey. “Sagan took quite a few risks on the downhill and opened up a small gap with Uran and Nibali. Santa and Cam really committed to the chase. It would have been nice to have more support from the other teams in the end because we were closing in on them at the line.”
“I had a good ride to finish fourth,” Impey added. “The three guys were away, and I won the bunch sprint just behind them. I finished fourth place here last year in nearly the same scenario. There were three away then, too, and we ran onto them just at the finish line.”
As usual, the early action was dominated by a small breakaway. Evan Huffman (Astana), Yaroslav Popovych (Trek Factory Racing), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) jumped away from the bunch, stretching out their lead just beyond the eight minute mark. With four laps of a hilly circuit, each including an ascent of Bousher Alamrat, the peloton naturally made up time on the breakaway in the finale. Van Avermaet was the last man standing, only coming back to the Team Sky led bunch on the upper slopes of the final climb.
“We caught the break with one lap left,” said Impey. “Only Van Avermaet held us off longer. Sky was pretty active on that last lap – sending lot of guys up the road. I think it was BMC that did the most work to bring back the Sky riders. Quick-Step helped, too. They were putting in quite a big effort.”
“I was sort of hiding away as much as possible at that point,” Impey added. “Santaromita was following the attacks on the climb, and he got away with the leaders at one point. We got over the climb pretty well with about 20 guys still in contention. Sagan jumped away on the downhill.”
Sagan, Nibali and Uran built up an advantage of 20” ahead of the elite chase group. With just over one kilometre remaining, the gap was falling steadily. The peloton had the trio in sight as the finish line loomed. Having run out of road to make the catch, Impey was forced to settle for fourth in the sprint rather than have a chance to unleash his speed for the stage win. “We rode really well today, so we can be proud of that,” said Impey. “We were a little bit disappointed yesterday that we weren’t able to get more involved in the finish. Everybody did their jobs today.”
“I had Jens Keukeleire looking after me on the circuits,” Impey explained. “Big Jens Mouris looked after Cam. We sacrificed two guys to try to give the best guy a chance at the stage win today. We came close, but Sagan was too good on the downhill again. We really gave everything to win the race today, and I think other teams did as well. It’s easy to wonder what could have been if we had come to the line together.”
“We rode really well today, so we can be proud of that,” added Impey. “We were a little bit disappointed yesterday that we weren’t able to get more involved in the finish. Everybody did their jobs today, and we can take confidence from the outcome.”