Impey and Meier anticipate WorldTour return with GreenEdge team
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Impey and Meier anticipate WorldTour return with GreenEdge team

by VeloNation Press at 5:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
South African and Canadian additions to new Australian team

Daryl ImpeyOne year after the Pegasus debacle, when the Australian team he was to move to folded and left him temporarily without a squad, South African rider Daryl Impey has joined the Canadian Christian Meier as the latest signings to the GreenEdge team.

Impey competed in the past with the Barloworld and RadioShack teams, riding many big events and winning a stage plus the overall in the prestigious Presidential Tour of Turkey in 2009. After the Pegasus collapse, he raced with the MTN Quebeca and Net App teams this year, but should have a chance to return to some of the biggest races in cycling next year if GreenEdge gets an expected WorldTour licence.

The 26 year old South African national time trial champion is relishing the opportunity he now has to get his career fully back in track.

“GreenEDGE has assembled a great squad and I’m really optimistic about our chances of getting a spot in the World Tours,” Impey said.

“I’m hoping to get a start in one of the Grand Tours for next year and aim to have a good Ardennes Classics campaign. I’ll also be aiming for my first ever win in a World Tour race along with going for the overall win in some of the smaller tours.”

Meier is also looking forward to the chance of getting back to the top events. He competed with the Garmin team in 2009 and 2010, winning the sprints classification in the Tour of the Basque Country, then moved to UnitedHealthcare this year. In that sense his career has taken a similar path to Impey, going from a WorldTour team to a Pro Continental squad and now, all going to plan for GreenEdge, back to the top level again.

“I’m very excited about the prospect of returning to the World Tour and being part of such an ambitious project,” he said.

“It will be great to race alongside some of the most experienced riders in the peloton, as I’ll be able to learn plenty from those guys and continue to develop as a rider. I’m also looking forward to racing with my good friend, and fellow Canadian, Svein Tuft, again.”

While he will want to chase his own success, he will also help the team leaders to do so. He has done that role in the past and is willing to keep riding for others when required, with a motivation being to help the team grow.

“Next year I am looking forward to doing my part in helping GreenEDGE have the most successful year we can,” the 26 year old former Canadian national champion said. “I’m very much looking forward to working for our team’s leaders and getting back to racing at the top level, especially racing Grand Tours.

“This year, at United Healthcare, I had the advantage of racing alongside Charlie Wegelius, who throughout his career has been one of the top domestiques in the peloton and I was able to learn a lot from him. That experience will be a big advantage to me at GreenEDGE.”

Like Impey, he wants to ride strongly in the Ardennes Classics. Other one day races also motivate him, particularly the GP Cycliste de Quebec and GP Cycliste de Montreal WorldTour events in his native Canada.

The bulk of the team will be Australian riders and, according to Impey, they will be really fired up in riding for what is the first top-level squad from that country. He experienced that himself while competing with the South African Barloworld teams, which he describes as the best of his career thus far. “My Barloworld days were the best of my career so far. Racing for a sponsor from your home country with your mates is something special. I know most of the Aussies well and they are all really upbeat and motivated and I feel the same way.

“The guys from the southern hemisphere think the same and I know we're all fired up to make it work. We share the same humour and lifestyle basically, so it is definitely an environment I will feel at home and that's most probably when you will get the best out of me.”
 

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