In His Own Words: Daryl Impey on Tour of Oman Stage 5Fri 15 Feb 2013
We had the idea to have a chat with a different rider every day during the Tour of Oman and tell you about the day from six different perspectives. Daryl Impey’s incredible performances have challenged this notion. Daily, he’s been amongst the action at the front of the bunch. We speak to him again today to allow him to tell you, in his own words, about his fantastic finish on stage five.
The whole day was pretty solid. The race began really quickly and the peloton split to bits with constant attacks. Finally, a breakaway went up the road. It was a nine rider move and there were some big names in the group, so it put a lot of stress on Team Sky. They had the whole team on the front for a good portion of the day.
We always knew the end of the race would see a lot of action. The stage finished with three times up Bousher Alamrat. It’s a good little climb that hurts the legs and last for around three kilometres. The pace was pretty high leading up into the climb with the nine riders still up the road. Cookie [Baden Cooke] and the rest of boys were looking after me for the first lap. After that, the idea was for me and Gossy [Matt Goss] to hang on as long as possible. I was having a really good day today.
When the guys went really hard on the second lap, I looked around and realized there were only ten of us left. That was my chance. I got dropped when the group upped the pace again, but I rode my own pace to get back. By the time I reconnected with the leaders, we had caught the breakaway.
I got dropped again on lap three, but again I was able to catch back on. This time, when I rejoined the group, there were three riders up the road. Chris Froome (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) had gotten away from the group. I was part of a seven rider chase that included [Cadel ]Evans (BMC), [Zdenek] Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), [Rinaldo] Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale), [Domenico] Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale), [Jesus] Hernandez (Saxo-Tinkoff) and [Johann] Tschopp (IAM ).
This is where I took a gamble. Going for the stage win and not riding for time, I elected to sit on rather than work with the guys in the group on the chase. I hoped the guys riding for the general classification would bring it back because I was pretty confident that from that group of ten, I’d win for the sprint. Unfortunately, we left it too late, and my gamble wasn’t good. We had them just in sight as we powered towards the final straightaway. We were four seconds behind them across the line.
Froome won the three-up sprint to pad his overall lead. I took the bunch sprint out for fourth place. I won the chase group sprint quite convincingly, so I’m a little heart-sore that there were three up the road.
All in all, it was a great day of racing. I’m happy that I’m up there amongst these big names on this type of terrain. Big thanks to the boys for the support. We’ll see what we can do with the last stage tomorrow.