Friday, May 24, 2024

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 6: Aix-en-Provence > Montpellier, 176km. Daryl Impey Leads

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Le Tour de France

Daryl Impey (GreenEDGE & Republic of South Africa) was in danger of always being remembered as the rider who suffered a horrific crash in the final metres of the Presidential Tour of Turkey in 2009 with the yellow jersey on his back – the podium substituted for an ambulance, that day.

Not now.

Now, he’ll be remembered as the Dark Continent’s first maillot jaune.

But that Turkey crash is just part of a career where the South African always fights back from injury and set back.

His Barloworld team – for whom he rode the 2008/9 seasons – folded.

Daryl Impey
Daryl down and out in Turkey, after a coming-together with Theo Bos in the run in on the final stage. Photo©Daryl Impey

However, a contract with Radio Shack took him back up to the sport’s highest level for 2010.

But just twelve months later, he was down at Continental level with South African team MTN Qhubeka – who threw him a lifeline after his contract with stillborn Australian ‘Pro Tour’ outfit Pegasus proved not to be worth the paper it was written on.

MTN were the team he originally turned professional with in 2007.

Daryl Impey
Making time for the fans at the Tour of South Africa. Photo©Daryl Impey

His 2011 results with that squad – including a stage win and second on GC in the Tour of Morocco – saw Pro Continental squad NetApp offer him a contract, and in the autumn it was back to the top division when he signed with fledgling Australian Pro Tour team, GreenEDGE.

In April of 2012, in the second stage of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco from Guenes to Vitoria-Gasteiz, the 28 year-old from Johannesburg grabbed his first World Tour win.

And he added a stage in the Tour of Slovenia for good measure.

Daryl Impey
Winning Stage 2 in Slovenia last year. Photo©Daryl Impey

His remarkable ‘rebirth’ continued in that year’s Giro d’Italia as he achieved his ambition of riding a Grand Tour.

Impey didn’t finish the Giro; the team deciding to pull him out after stage 16 – not to take too much out him in anticipation of a Tour de France ride.

The South African did his job in France and duly finished the hardest race in the world.

This season saw him win the Republic of South Africa Time Trial Championships; Stage Two in the Pais Vasco, again; a stage in the Bayern Rundfahrt; the TTT in le Tour – and now the maillot jaune.

And to boot, he’s another one of the ‘good guys.’

Daryl Impey
The high point of Daryl’s career thus far – leader of the Tour de France.

Here’s what the team had to say about his perfect day:

“Daryl Impey finished in a front group of 16 riders on stage six of the Tour de France to move into the race lead.

“The South African becomes the first African to wear the Tour’s yellow jersey.

“Simon Gerrans led out Matt Goss for the sprint and conceded five seconds to Impey when the bunch split before the line.

“Simon came to me yesterday afternoon and asked if it was okay for him to pass the jersey along to Daryl,” said Sport Director Matt White. “I said it was fine. They’re great mates. What they’ve done for each other will never be forgotten.

“Simon won his stage with the perfect lead-out from Daryl, and he had his two days in yellow. For Daryl to be the first African in yellow, even if it’s only one day – well, it will change his life forever.”

“I was pretty emotional on the podium,” admitted Impey. “I was standing there and thinking ‘this is it.’ – this is the proudest moment ever of my career. I don’t think anything will ever top this.

“That’s not to say I’ll never be able to do it again, but not in this way. It’s like winning the jackpot.”

It just goes to show that fairy tales do happen in le Tour.

But not if you come from the Isle of Man, it would seem.

A crash at 20 miles to go; radio failure for QuickStep, meaning the team didn’t know he was down; a tough chase and a pitch perfect Lotto for Greipel meant that the Manxman we were waxing lyrical about just yesterday could do no better than fourth on a day which he’ll feel should have been his.

But that’s show biz – and there are others much worse off.

Daryl Impey
Mark had a frantic chase to get back into the bunch after crashing on a roundabout.
Photo©Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Take Jakob Fuglsang (Astana & Denmark) – he started this race with a realistic hope of being a podium challenger.

But a disastrous TTT where Astana dropped a shed load of time was today compounded by his losing key work horses Fred Kessiakoff and Jan Brajkovic – the Astana dinner table won’t be buzzing.

Daryl Impey
Jan Brajkovic is hurt, but finishes the stage. We’re told he won’t be starting tomorrow. Photo©EPA

It’ll be a strange mood at the Lotto table; Greipel wins – but their GC hope Jurgen van Den Broeck heads home.

It’s a good job Marc Sergeant has hedged his bets and brought Greipel or the Tour would be a disaster for the team.

Daryl Impey
Greipel thanks Adam Hansen for a stunning lead out into Montpellier. Photo©Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

And penultimate pontificate of the day; Stephen Roche says it’s time to draw a line in the sand on the ‘D-word’ and the threat of Pantani’s name coming off the score cards is taking it too far.

We’ve been saying that for three years – just as long as we now hit the dopers hard.

Tomorrow?

Lumpy but fast at the end – a break could stick, but if it is a bunch sprint and Cav’s there, he’ll win.

And yes, I know I said that yesterday, thank you.

”Results

Stage Result

1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 3:59:02
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
4 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
7 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
9 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
11 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun
12 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
13 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
14 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
15 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
16 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol
17 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:05
18 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
19 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling
20 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp
21 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
22 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
23 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Sojasun
24 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
25 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
26 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team
27 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
28 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
29 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
30 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard
31 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
32 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
33 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha
34 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp
35 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha
36 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
37 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
38 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha
39 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
40 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard
41 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
42 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
43 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
44 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ.fr
45 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr
46 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
47 Tom Veelers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
48 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
49 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
50 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
51 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
52 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
53 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun
54 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
55 Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
56 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
57 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
58 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
59 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
60 Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team
61 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge
62 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr
63 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
64 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
65 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team
66 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
67 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
68 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
69 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
70 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
71 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
72 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
73 Brice Feillu (Fra) Sojasun
74 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr
75 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr
76 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
77 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun
78 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
79 Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard
80 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack Leopard
81 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard
82 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
83 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
84 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
85 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
86 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge