Impey ‘felt like he was floating’ in yellow jersey, but accepts he’ll likely lose it tomorrow
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Friday, July 05, 2013

Impey ‘felt like he was floating’ in yellow jersey, but accepts he’ll likely lose it tomorrow

by VeloNation Press at 4:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
GreenEdge rider enjoys day in Maillot Jaune, earns another

Daryl ImpeySouth African rider Daryl Impey had the honour of becoming the first rider from his continent to race in the coveted yellow jersey today, and spoke glowingly of the efforts his Orica GreenEdge team made to haul back a dangerous break close to the end and to ensure that he remained in the overall lead.

“I felt like I was floating out there today. It's such a special occasion and Cannondale really put the pressure on us today – they put pressure on everyone – so they deserved that victory,” he said after the stage. “Simon Gerrans, Simon Clarke and Michael Albasini did a great job to haul back [Jan] Bakelants in the end and allow me to keep the yellow jersey for another day.

“I would have loved to have done better in the sprint for ‘Gerro' but, that being said, our main objective today was to keep the yellow jersey and we've done that.”

Impey rolled in twelfth, three places ahead of Gerrans, with both finishing in the same time as the day’s sprint winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale).

Impey showed his versatility as a rider by remaining in the bunch when other fast finishers such as Mark Cavendish (Orica GreenEdge) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) were dropped by the relentless driving of Sagan’s team.

He coped well today on today’s climbs, but accepts that there is a whole new type of gradient to content with tomorrow, and that things will be much more complicated as a result.

The Tour is heading into the Pyrenees and with a summit finish at Ax 3 Domaines, he accepts that the Maillot Jaune will almost certainly be worn by another rider tomorrow evening.

“I'd be overambitious to say that I thought I'd keep this jersey tomorrow but I'll give it my best shot,” he said. “But guys like Chris Froome and that... I can see them really putting the pressure on; it's the first day in the mountains and I can't see why they wouldn't want to test each other.

“They've been waiting seven days to see how everyone is going so I think tomorrow it'll be pretty hard to keep the yellow.”

Still, even if he and his team concede the Maillot Jaune, it has already been a highly successful race for Orica GreenEdge. Winless in its first Tour last year, the team clocked up a sprint win with Gerrans, a team time trial success the following day, and has held the yellow jersey with Gerrans and Impey since Tuesday afternoon.

In other words, mission accomplished. The team will continue to race hard until the end of the Tour, though, with another stage win a good target.

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