Impey returns to win stage and overall victory at Tour of AlbertaSun 7 Sep 2014
South African Daryl Impey has returned to racing in the best possible fashion taking out the final stage and overall victory at the Tour of Alberta today.
With the full support of the ORICA-GreenEDGE outfit, Impey went into the final stage in third overall and utilised the bonus seconds on offer for the stage win to snatch the yellow jersey from Tom Dumoulin (GIA) by just one second.
“I was so motivated coming back, I really trained hard when I was off,” Impey, who returned to racing at the Canadian six-day event having been cleared of any wrong doing in a recent investigation by the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport, said after his victory.
“Tactically we rode well today. We always had a guy up the road and in the moves so we put a lot of pressure on the teams behind and that set it up for me.
“Coming out of that last corner it was nearly impossible to lose, everybody stuck to the plan, we knew it was always going to be a gamble when we put everything on the finish but I’m just stoked.”
British neo-pro Simon Yates was active throughout the stage in defense of the King of the Mountains jersey, initially featuring in a temporary escape of three riders and then again in the day’s main breakaway of ten.
Grabbing maximum points on the first of three classified climbs was enough for the 22-year-old to wrap up the category before he switched to a domestique role in support of Impey.
Coming into the final of eleven 11km laps, Pieter Weening took the reins, stringing out the peloton and putting the pressure on the entire field before Impey enjoyed the unbeatable lead out of a dedicated ORICA-GreenEDGE squad for the victory.
Sport director Matt Wilson, said today’s effort was the icing on the cake for six days of effort from the team who followed the race plan and delivered at every opportunity.
“We were lucky today in that we had multiple options to go with but the ‘A Plan’ was Daryl,” Wilson said.
“The rest of the guys were just trying to really put the pressure on the other teams to do the chasing. Everyone stuck to the plan spot on.
“We did actually think the circuit would be a lot harder than it was and with one lap to go we still had a lot of sprinters in the group. They were nervous times but Pieter Weening did a great job making it hard on the climb and then Dumoulin also attacked on that last lap and that really shelled out the other sprinters.
“From that point on the boys were on the front to lead out Daryl and they did a spot on job.”