Impey boosts GC hopes with a second place on stage four of the Tour of AlbertaSat 6 Sep 2014
South African Daryl Impey has claimed ORICA-GreenEDGE’s second podium in as many days at the Tour of Alberta, sprinting to second place on stage four today.
The result claimed Impey, the first South African to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, bonus seconds to move him into third overall with one stage remaining.
“It was a fantastic day for us in the end,” sport director Matt Wilson said.
“We tried to get Daryl in a good position for the finish, which went perfectly.
“He wasn’t quite fast enough to get over Theo (Bos), but obviously Theo is a very fast guy so we were pretty happy with second.”
A group of six riders established in the first ten kilometres of the stage and were shortly joined by an additional two riders who bridged across to form the day’s main escape group of eight.
The flat and windy stage, featuring two dirty ‘Canadian pavé’ sections, ensured the peloton kept them on a tight leash, the gap never extending beyond four and a half minutes.
Amongst the most active teams on the previous days of racing, ORICA-GreenEDGE took a rare back seat on today’s stage.
“At the start, a small break of riders went clear but there was no one dangerous so we left it up to the other teams to chase and we sort of sat back,” Wilson explained.
“It was quite a dangerous stage, there was a lot of dirt road sections, so the guys just kept Daryl out of the way.”
All back together on the second of the three 3km finish circuits, team sprint chains moved to the front in preparation for the bunch kick. Perfect timing by the Belkin-Pro Cycling Team saw Theo Bos take out the victory, whilst a fast finishing Impey came from behind to finish ahead of Jure Kocjan (SSC).
Again with no mountains to negotiate today, British neo-pro Simon Yates holds the King of the Mountains jersey heading into the last day of racing.
In tomorrow’s fifth and final stage, riders will complete 11laps of an 11km circuit which includes a short but sharp climb that promises to spice up the final title battle.
“Today moved Daryl to just nine seconds off general classification and with a time bonus he has a chance to win the tour,” Wilson said.
“So a big day for us tomorrow. The guys are all feeling good and are motivated so hopefully we can finish it all off.”