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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, February 11, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. - Henry Ford

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Daryl Impey wins back-to-back South African road race championships

Impey's Mitchelton-Scott team sent me this:

Double Tour Down Under champion Daryl Impey has successfully defended his South African road title, beating the odds and the numbers in Tshwane today.

As the sole starter for Mitchelton-SCOTT, and the much talked about target for South African based team Dimension-Data, Impey knew he was in for a challenge and had his back against the wall in the final 30km before recovering in impressive style to win solo.

After a couple of earlier small breakaways throughout the 162km circuit race, it was a duo of Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) and Jayde Julius (ProTouch) who led the race with three laps to go before Dlamini attacked solo.

Shouldering all of the chase work behind and with the remainder of the Dimension Data team sitting on his wheel, Impey attacked away from the chase group using the steep climb on the final lap, overtaking Dlamini to win solo by an impressive 25seconds to second placed Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data).

After a breakout season last year, Impey has started the 2019 season with the same vigour. The 34-year-old claimed his maiden stage victory at the Tour Down Under on the way to creating history as the first rider to win back-to-back titles at the Australian WorldTour event. 

Daryl Impey

Daryl Impey after the sixth stage of the 2019 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

After a third place at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Impey returned to South Africa to win a record eighth national time trial championship, before today’s successful road race title defence.

Impey’s fourth UCI victory takes the Mitchelton-SCOTT 2019 men’s victory tally to eight, with wins also to Luke Durbridge (Australian Time Trial Championship), Nick Schultz (Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage 4), Matteo Trentin (Volta a la Valenciana – Stage 2) and Adam Yates (Volta a la Valenciana – Stage 4).

Daryl Impey – 2019 South African Road Race Champion:
"I just wanted to fight for it. Win, lose or draw. I wanted to go all in. Even though they threw everything at me I rode intelligently and used my experience because I have been in this situation many times.

“I didn’t think I would be taking the jersey back to Europe just because I had the odds against me, just shows you it is never over till it's over. I am backing myself more and it is a great step forward in my career. I had massive support from my family and friends. History made again, I love doing the double!”

National Championships South Africa – Road Race Results:
1. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 3:54:30
2. Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data) +0:25
3. Stefan de Bod (Dimension Data) +0:31

UAE-Team Emirates reports on the final Volta a Valenciana stage

The team sent me this:

Alexander Kristoff lost by a hair to Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) on the fast-closing circuit of Valencia, ending the 70th edition of the Volta a la Comunità Valenciana. European Champion Matteo Trentin placed third.

Sylan Gorenewegen

It was Dylan Groenewegen who had the speed in Valencia.

“At 400 metres to go, I found myself a head and maybe it was a little bit too early,” said the Norwegian. ” Then the riders from Mitchelton Scott team came up from behind before the final curve and I lost the wheel of Matteo Trentin. At 200 metres to go, I started my sprint but when I was within reach of the victory up came Dylan Groenewegen. He is definitely one of the fastest sprinters in the world at the moment. But I’m proud of the team’s work and especially the show by Mercato who pulled in the last five kilometres and helped very much to keep the group of strung out without causing me to lose too much energy.”

The final classification went to a Spaniard Izagirre from Team Astana. For UAE Team Emirates, Dan Martin finished fourth overall and Rui Costa finished 10th.

“I’m happy with the work that I’ve done here with my teammates,” said Dan Martin. “I didn’t have the training in my legs necessary to fight for the win on the climbs like yesterday but the teamwork is encouraging with the next appointments coming up. Now I hope to do well also in the UAE Tour.”

Philippe Gilbert and Yves Lampaert to start season in Provence

Here's the Deceuninck-Quick Step release:

A flat individual time trial around Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer – a small town where Vincent Van Gogh produced several paintings in 1888 – and three hilly stages comprising twelve classified climbs will shape up the general classification at the fourth edition of the Tour de la Provence, where our team returns after having previously raced the inaugural edition, where we won a brace of stages and two distinctive jerseys.

Philippe Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert finishes the 2018 Tour of Flanders, He was third, but his teammate Niki Terpstra won. Sirotti photo.

Winner of more than 70 pro races throughout his astonishing career, Philippe Gilbert will headline the Deceuninck – Quick-Step seven-man squad at next week’s race (14-17 February), where he will be joined by World TTT Champion Kasper Asgreen, Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, Belgian Champion Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal and Pieter Serry, all except Cavagna making their season debut in France.

“After a nice training camp in Algarve, all the riders are sharp and ready to start in La Provence, a well-organised race which schedules on the opening day an ITT that suits several of our riders. Powerhouse Tim Declercq will keep the break under control the following day and hopefully we’ll be in the mix for the stage victory, in case it will come down to a bunch sprint”, said Brian Holm.

Our Danish sports director continued: “As always, we are motivated and will fight for stage wins and the general classification with our strong rouleurs and puncheurs. The hilly and winding course is very much to our team’s liking, so we are really looking forward to kicking off things in a couple of days.”

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