Strong Mitchelton-SCOTT display sees Impey take tenth at De Brabantse PijlWed 11 Apr 2018
Dual South African national champion Daryl Impey finished strongly at the 58thedition of the hilly semi-classic De Brabanste Pijl in Belgium today after a solid team performance from Mitchelton-SCOTT.
A grinding race contested over some 27climbs saw the peloton happy to let the breakaway go early before the attacks started in earnest with Tour of Poland stage winner Jack Haig the spark for Mitchelton-SCOTT ahead of a tough finale.
Ever present at the sharp end of the race the Australian outfit looked to shake things up with Haig, but the 24-year-old was caught on the last lap before Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) jumped clear for what proved to be the race wining move.
Pais Vasco king of the mountains Carlos Verona mounted a strong pursuit behind the Belgian, leading the chasers on to the final climb with Impey finishing in tenth and Verona in 14th.
A group of seven riders jumped on the attack straight out of the neutral zone and pushed on over the early climbs, developing a lead of eight minutes after 60kilometres of racing.
The gap to the leaders didn’t start to come down until past the 100kilometres to go mark as the pace intensified into the first of the finishing circuits and the advantage down to less than two minutes.
With 60kilometres left to race a series of attacks split the bunch with Haig off the front and chasing down the remnants of the breakaway.
Haig and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) joined forces out front and set a blistering pace, holding off the bunch until only 15kilomettres remained.
Frantic, attack filled final lap:
Despite a strong effort the Haig duo was caught on the final lap by a reduced bunch of around 30/40riders that included Verona, Impey and Rob Power and once the catch was made, freesh attcaks started to spring with Verona working had to follow the moves.
However, it was the attack of Wellens inside ten kilometres to go that carried the sting as the Belgian powered clear, creating and then holding a slim advantage all the way to the line as a frantic chase unfolded behind with Impey climbing strongly and finishing tenth on the day.
“Today we were always present and took the race head on. The whole team rode a great race, we didn’t hold back and put the pressure on in the right places.”
“I waited for the sprint and didn’t quite have the legs I needed to pull off a good result but based on previous editions this is the best I have felt and the best result I have achieved. So, maybe that’s a good sign for what’s coming up.”
Sport director Laurenzo Lapage:
“As a team we rode very strongly today, we had a plan and the guys stuck to it perfectly. Everybody knew their job, and nobody deviated from the task in hand and in the end the way the final panned out we couldn’t have done much more.”
“The guys looked after Daryl throughout and Carlos and Rob were with him until the last moments and are all in good shape. There were quite a few strong guys trying to bring things back together on the last lap, but Wellens was too strong today.
“We are in good shape for Sunday the signs are really positive, we had a solid race today and now we look ahead to Amstel Gold and the Ardennes.”
De Brabantse Pijl results:
1. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) 04:42:48
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) +0:09
3. Tiejs Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) ST
10. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.