Impey back in action at Critérium du Dauphiné with 16th on the opening stage sprint

Sun 9 Jun 2019

Dual South African champion Daryl Impey returned to racing today at Critérium du Dauphiné after a short break and training block following the Ardennes races, and sprinted to 16th place in a messy bunch sprint.

Bumping shoulders with two-riders coming out of the final corner, Impey lost some momentum and found himself too far behind as the sprint opened up in front of him, eventually won by Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension-Data).

Mitchelton-SCOTT’s general classification contenders all finished safely in the main peloton on the same time.

Six-escape from the gun

Within the first 10kilometres of racing, a group of six-riders established themselves ahead of the bunch and worked together to open up a gap of over one-minute with the bunch happy to let them go.

The group extended their lead to over three-minutes with various teams leading the steady chase behind throughout the short 142km day.

Breakaway splits

As the finish line drew closer and the peloton headed over the five climbs of the day, the gap significantly reduced and the six-leaders began to split up over the second and final time up the Côte de Roquenatou.

A trio of riders from the origional breakaway lead the peloton by just 20seconds as Mitchelton-SCOTT got on the front and led the chase in an attempt to set up Impey for the sprint.

The remaining breakaway riders were caught just in time and all eyes were on for a sprint. Impey remained in a  good position thanks to the work of his teammates, but as the rush began and the sprint opened up, the South African lost some positions and settled for 16th position.

Adam Yates concluded the day safely in the bunch in 43th place.

Daryl Impey

“In the final Julian Alaphillipe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) had swung to his left as I was coming through so I lost my speed then already, but then Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) rode into me and that took any speed I was carrying away. In the end, it wasn't the result we could have achieved.

“I suffered over the last climb as I saw many guys were in trouble and then we decided to roll the dice. It was a demanding day and being near the front after a long break and time away from racing, it is always nice to see things are going in the right direction. The whole team rode really well and its great to ride with a motivated team.”

Critérium du Dauphiné - Stage 1 Results:

1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension-Data) 3:24:33
2. Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quickstep) ST
3. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) ST
16. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

General Classification after stage 1:

1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension-Data) 3:24:33
2. Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quickstep) +0:04
3. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0:06
16. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT)

Photos courtesy of Getty Images