Impey narrow second on Vuelta a Espana stage 12

Thu 3 Sep 2015

South African Daryl Impey has sprinted to a close second place on stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana, the national time trial champion just pipped in the closing metres of the slightly uphill finish.

Following yesterday’s epic mountain stage, ORICA-GreenEDGE also successfully protected Colombian Esteban Chaves to ensure the 25-year-old finished in the bunch to retain fifth place overall.

There were some tense moments in the closing 20km of the day as the bunch had to put in maximum effort in order to make an extremely late catch of the early break.

Impey hit the front in the final one hundred metres, but was just beating over the line in the closing metres by Danny van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) for the victory.

“I thought it was going to be touch and go if we were going to catch them but I had to rely on a bit of luck,” Impey said. “When I saw them with 500m to go I knew we would catch them with the run in but it was very close.”

“I actually thought I had it and then when (Van Poppel) passed me in the last 30-40metres I was heartbroken. There was nothing I could have done; he was coming faster than me.

“The guys really looked after me today and we gave it our best shot. Obviously I’m disappointed not to win but I’m happy that I gave it everything and the day went according to plan.”

How it happened:

After 5000m of climbing and a day of suffering by the whole peloton yesterday, stage 12 and its solitary climb was welcomed today.

It was almost destined for a sprint finish, unless the remaining sprint teams didn’t show much interest and the breakaway survived.

Those trying their luck in the break were Maxime Bouet (Etixx Quick-step), Bert Linderman (Lotto NL – Jumbo), Miguel Rubiano (Team Colombia), Jaco Venter (MTN – Qhubeka) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale).

At it’s biggest, the advantage reached five-minutes 50seconds before Giant-Alpecin and Trek Factory Racing lifted the intensity from the peloton in support of their fast men.

With 50km to go, their efforts had reduced the gap to just two-minutes 20seconds but a further 20km on, it still remained the same as the break began to get a touch of belief.

Into the final ten kilometres the break looked like they would survive, as teams seemed to run out of firepower to continue the chase.  But eventually, the remnants of the break were caught agonisingly short in the final 500metres.