RadioShack’s Impey delays comeback, will return for Tour de Picardie
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Monday, April 26, 2010

RadioShack’s Impey delays comeback, will return for Tour de Picardie

by Conal Andrews at 5:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

South African sprinter Daryl Impey and his RadioShack team have decided to postpone his return to racing while he continues to rebuild his form. He crashed during the Tour of Catalunya on March 24th, hitting the deck on a descent, sliding over a guardrail barrier and falling six metres into a river. The 25 year old hit his knee hard and has been working to come back from that injury.

“My knee took a big knock from the crash but now I have been doing a couple 6 hour rides and the pain seems a lot less,” he said. “It’s nearly perfect and being home now I can really just focus on the bike and get myself ready.

“I know I was supposed to do Romandie but the team and I both decided it would be better to get some good training in before coming back to racing. Romandie is not the easiest race in the world and we decided that Tour de Picardie will be my first race back. It is in three weeks time so I came back to South Africa to get my visa sorted. I will do some good training at altitude before heading back to Europe for the summer.”

Impey had a solid start to his first season with the Team RadioShack squad, using the Tour Down Under and Het Nieuwsblad to build form and then starting to pick up decent placings in the Vuelta a Murcia. He was fifth and tenth on road stages, then a solid 13th in the time trial.

Milan-Sanremo followed and gave him the chance to gain experience in the longest of the Classics, before he headed to Catalunya aiming to continue his progress. He was twelfth on stage two, but then crashed out of the race less than 24 hours later.

That was a tough period for him, particularly being sidelined again after a very serious crash in last year’s Presidential Tour of Turkey. Fortunately his girlfriend was able to travel from South Africa and help out.

“I was lucky enough that Ali could fly up to Spain to look after me while I was injured, and give a huge morale boost to me,” he said, explaining the difficulty of being a non-European pro in Europe. “It can sometimes be hard on you when you're living alone in a foreign country, but when you can't even train or race it becomes way tougher. It gives you time to watch the clock tick and one can only watch so many DVD's. I used that time off to set new goals and think about what I want to get out of the rest of the season.”

The Tour de Picardie will begin on May 14th, after which he will compete in the Tour de Luxembourg. His programme will be decided after that but one likely target is the world road race championships in Australia this autumn. If so, he is likely to ask to be included on the team for the Vuelta a España beforehand, making his Grand Tour debut there.

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