In His Own Words: Daryl Impey on Tour of Oman Stage 2Wed 13 Feb 2013
Daryl Impey cracked the top ten on the second stage of the Tour of Oman. The South African made an elite selection of ten riders that broke away from a battered bunch during the final ten kilometres of racing. Back at the hotel, Impey detailed his day. Read what he had to say, in his own words, below.
It was fairly straightforward day for us today. We didn’t have an end objective in sight. We weren’t sure how we were going to get over the two climbs at the end of the race, so we didn’t take any responsibility. This was a completely different approach than we had yesterday.
Again, an early breakaway with riders from two of the smaller teams formed in the opening kilometres. Yesterday, we were one of only two teams to chase. Today, we left it to the teams with overall ambitions to control the race. The gap reached a maximum of around six minutes before the field began to pull back the breakaway.
Today’s stage included two ranked climbs, and they were both in the last 25 kilometres – so was the second of two intermediate sprints. This is where we saw all the action. Jens [Mouris] and Fumy [Beppu] did a really good job to put me in position into these two climbs. I surprised myself a little when I found that I was climbing with the front guys over the second KOM. It’s a huge confidence boost. I wasn’t sure of my condition after crashing out of the Tour Down Under, so it’s great to see that I have this sort of fitness.
There were only about ten riders left after the summit of the second mountain. The gap between our group and the one behind was less than ten seconds or so, and when we began to play cat and mouse in the last kilometre, the two groups came together. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) soloed to stage victory. Tony Gallopin (RadioShack Leopard Trek) and Martin Elmiger (IAM) contested a two-up sprint for the lesser podium spots. Two more riders managed to get off the front before I came in with a group of 30 guys.
I took ninth overall. I’m definitely happy with how I climbed today, but I’m disappointed that I didn’t do better at the end. I made a few bad decisions in the last couple kilometres. I should have been more aggressive. I think I could have done something if I had taken more chances.
Oman is a great spot to have a bike race at this time of year. The team is happy here. The weather is really good. The race seems well-organised. We’re at a top-notch hotel. Overall, we’re all pretty impressed and looking forward to the next four days of racing.