Impey sprints to second place on the second stage of Volta Ciclista Catalunya

Tue 20 Mar 2018

Last year’s stage winner Daryl Impey came close to taking another victory today in Volta Ciclista Catalunya after sprinting to second place in a reduce bunch sprint in Valls.

After great teamwork by Mitchetlon-SCOTT to shrink the main bunch over the final climb of the day, Impey proved to have good legs in the final sprint, coming close but in the end beaten by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Early breakaway

In the opening 15kilometres of the 175kilometre day, three riders, Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi-Murrias), Igor Merino (Burgos-BH) and Antonio Molina (Caja Rural) opened up a three minute advantage over the peloton on the second relatively ‘flat’ stage.

The group continued to yo-yo between one and a half minutes and three minutes throughout the stage before one rider bridged across but with 40kilometres to go the their chances of a victory were over as they returned to the bunch.

Second day, second sprint

On the final climb of the day with 14kilometres to go Rob Power and Carlos Verona lifted the tempo and the bunch began to shrink down. With many sprinters not present in the front group, Mitchelton-SCOTT kept the pressure on, keeping their general classification contenders out of trouble and working to keep Impey in a good position.

Coming from behind, Impey launched out of the wheels and battled all the way to the line. The South African champion now moves up to third place overall at six seconds behind the new leader Valverde.

Daryl Impey - 2nd on stage 2

“It was always in the plan to light it up on the last climb. First priority was to keep our general classification ambitions in tact during the crosswind section and then for me to have full support in the end. 

“The boys did an amazing job, Rob really put everyone in the hurt locker and Carlos and Jack delivered me to where I needed to be in the end. I took Valverde’s wheel but had to break after a rider dive bombed into the final corner.”

“I had to make up ground and sprint through some traffic on the right which was ideal but Valverde is a class act and to lose to him is not bad. Like I said, we will keep trying and tomorrow will be an exciting day in the mountains for us.”

“I felt good which is a shame after all the great work the boys did, I am still proud we took the race head on which shows the team has confidence in me.”

Volta Ciclista Catalunya stage two results:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 4:41:50
2. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST

General classification after stage two:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 
2. Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) 
3. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images