Impey safely through hot opener at Tour Down Under

Tue 15 Jan 2019

Defending champion Daryl Impey has finished 11th on the opening stage of the Tour Down Under on the first of two blistering hot sprint stages in Adelaide.

Having won last year on countback, and without a pure sprinter, the objective of the day for Mitchelton-SCOTT was to conserve energy, whilst positioning Impey as high as possible in the final.

Breakaway bonuses:
There was little fight for the breakaway as four riders quickly established over one-minute’s lead in the opening three kilometres of racing. 

Shortly after, the quartet reduced to three as Paddy Bevin (CCC Team), Michael Storer (Team Sunweb) and Jason Lea (UniSA Australia) rode to a three-minute lead over the peloton. 

After collecting all of the bonus seconds on offer, the trio were back inside the bunch with 40km to go as the race seemed destined for the expected sprint.

Sprint finale:
Two S-shape corners characterised the final 1.5km, before a final straight sprint to the line. The bunch kick was messy as sprint trains failed to meet in formation.

Impey was protected by Alex Edmondson and Cameron Meyer before he sprinted to 11th behind stage winner Elia Viviani (DQT), who found a narrow gap along the barriers to take a convincing victory.

Daryl Impey – Defending Champion:
“We wanted to get a high position on the line because we know stage positions can count in this race, so the objective was to be in the pointy end of the race and close to the top ten was a good enough result. 

“We saved a lot of energy today and then got together at the end so it was a box ticked today.” 

Tour Down Under – Stage 1 Results:
1. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – QuickStep) 3:19:47
2. Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) ST
3. Jakub Mareczko (CCC Team) ST
11. Daryl Impey(Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST 

Tour Down Under – General Classification after Stage 1:
1. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – QuickStep) 3:19:47
2. Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) +0:04
3. Paddy Bevin (CCC Team) +0:05
14. Daryl Impey(Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:10

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.