Daryl Impey: I always wanted to race the Tour, now that dream is a reality
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Daryl Impey: I always wanted to race the Tour, now that dream is a reality

by Xylon van Eyck at 6:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Tour de France
Giro, Tour de France and Olympics part of the South African’s big year

Daryl ImpeyDaryl Impey’s dream season continues after being named in the Orica-GreenEdge Tour de France line up at the weekend. The South African made his Grand Tour debut earlier this year at the Giro d’Italia and wasn’t in the team’s initial Tour de France plans, but muscled his way in through a superb performance this year.

“Daryl has been the biggest revelation in our team this year,” Sports Director Matt White said when announcing the team. “He came to us without a lot of experience in setting up a sprint but has clearly solidified his position as one of the world’s best leadout riders in a very short period of time. He has made himself an obvious pick for our Tour de France team.”

Speaking to VeloNation Monday, Impey said that the selection is as a result of a lot of effort this year. “Starting in the Tour de France makes me realise that if you put the hard work in, the results follow,” he stated. “This season I have put everything on hold and cycling has taken first priority; things are working out well. Starting the Tour de France just shows me how much Orica-GreenEDGE value me as a rider in the team and it’s so important to feel at home. I really do with this team.”

Unsure of what kind of form he would have after the Giro, Impey raced the Tour de Slovénie last week. He won stage two and finished third in the final time trial. He says his numbers in training are also good and will just play the wait-and-see game now.

Asked if he’s got any personal ambitions for the race, he says it’s all for the team.

“I think personally for me it will be difficult as we have other leaders other than [Matt Goss] Gossy, but my main role is to look after Gossy for the sprints and obviously help Michael Albasini and [Simon Gerrans] Gerro where I can. I am more in a support role at the Tour but I do think if a chance presents itself for me, the team will give me my chance.”

When he rolls down the starting ramp in Saturday’s Liege prologue, Impey will be the third ever South African to start the race after Robbie Hunter and John Lee Augustyn.

“I always wanted to race the Tour. That dream is now a reality. I don't really think of it as the third South African, but rather the first Impey,” he said with a laugh.

“I am proud to be a part of it all and hopefully my dream season can continue. This has been a great season but there is still some goals I have set for myself later in the year like the Olympic Games.”

The 27 year old will fill South Africa’s only Olympic qualifying spot, and will hope that he comes out of the Tour de France in flying shape.


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