Impey concludes his Australian season with third place at the Cadel Road Race

Sun 28 Jan 2018

Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey found himself on the podium once again today after sprinting to third place in today’s Cadel Road Race, which rounds up his successful Australian racing block.

The unpredictable one-day event concluded with a group sprint won by Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) after Colombian climber Esteban Chaves was swept up in the final kilometre after a brave effort, leading solo race in the final kilometres, in what was his first race appearance of the 2018 season.

Early breakaway

As soon as the start flag dropped five riders attacked and without any real response from the peloton they were able to quickly open up a three minute advantage. The team's, appeared happy to let Lasse Norman-Hansen (Aqua-Blue), Alex Porter (Australian National Team), Sam Welford (Australian National Team) Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha-Alpecin) and Robbert De Greef (Roompot) ride away and animate the early part of the 163kilometre race.

Work horses at the front

Micheal Hepburn and 2018 signing Jack Bauer did a large volume of work for the team throughout the race, sitting on the front of the peloton, working to control the distance to the five-breakaway riders. Quickstep-Floors joined in with the work load, as the peloton lined out behind and the time gap to the escapees gradually dropped down as they neared the final finishing circuits in Geelong.

Once the race entered the finishing circuit Bauer continued to ride strongly and stay present at the front of the peloton each time up the Challambra climb as the breakaway decreased to two riders and were finally swallowed up on the last lap.

The Challumbra split

On the final ascent of the Challambra climb, Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe), made an attack and was closely followed by Chaves. Over the top only nine riders were able to survive the acceleration which included Impey and Chaves for Mitchelton-SCOTT and it looked as thought the race winning move had established.

With some 'cat and mousing' in the final five kilometres, Chaves who was working to cover moves for Impey, ended up leading the race solo in the final only to be caught with one kilometre remaining.

Daryl Impey - Third place

“I felt pretty good all day, I told the guys I felt good and they gave me every opportunity to be good. Mat (Hayman) did a great job leading into the climb and Jack (Bauer) and Michael (Hepburn) did a massive job all day.”

It was great that Esteban and I were in that group of eight or nine guys so numbers were on our side. At first Esteban was riding but no one was riding with him so we decided that we might as well throw it out there and create something that would suit us."

“We did it, Esteban did a great job to keep the pressure on and we used that to our advantage to force the other guys to ride a little bit. We were caught there in the end, it was touch as go, it was a good race but third place is alright, Jay was quick and obviously Viviani is fast.”

Esteban Chaves

“I am surprised with today, because the guys that I arrived with over the top of the climb all raced at the Tour Down Under so they have really good legs and are more adapted to the heat so it’s a really good surprise to be there, it is a good start for me.”

“The team was unbelievable all day, Heppy and Bauer pulled really a lot and the other guys Howson, Meyer our captain Hayman all gave a lot.”

“We didn’t have good organisation in the final group at the end, we didn’t work together too good, so finally after a few times when people weren’t passing through I just went to the front and continued going. I kept pushing and pushing and Daryl said to me on the radio to continue, but then I could see them coming and knew it was over.”

“I am happy with today, I know now the form is good but also being in the peloton as my last race I crashed, so it is good to feel relaxed again in the bunch as it is completely different to training and everything is starting to come more natural.”

Cadel Road Race results:

1. Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) 
2. Elia Viviani (Quickstep-Floors)
3. Daryl Impey (Mitchetlon-SCOTT)

Photos courtesy of Getty Images