Only the second stage win by a South African
South Africa’s Daryl Impey powered his way to an unforgettable first Tour de France stage win in stage nine of the tour on Sunday.
Impey became only the second South African stage winner, following Robbie Hunter’s victory in Montpellier in the 2007 edition of the race.
Riding for the Mitchelton Scott team, Impey showed his experience in nipping into a 15-man breakaway on a stage profile that suited his abilities.
He displayed plenty of cunning on the final climb of the day, feigning fatigue but then surging to the front near the top of the climb.
What remained was a tense few kilometres of undulating road before a steep plummet downhill to the final 700m and a showdown with Belgian rider Tiesj Benoot.
The odds were firmly stacked in favour of Impey, a strong finisher, who had too much power in the last 200m for Benoot.
The South African champion proudly pointed to the SA flag emblazoned across his cycling jersey as he crossed the line in Brioude.
This is how a Sunday should be spent. Lost for words. Days like this are rare. Soaking it all up. First stage win in @LeTour Thank you to everyone who has backed me and sent through so many amazing messages already @GettyImages @MitcheltonSCOTT @bikeonscott pic.twitter.com/h6W5NWdAYb
— Daryl Impey (@darylimpey) July 14, 2019
“I have been in quite a few breakaways and to finally nail it is a dream come true,” Impey told ITV 4. “All the stars lined up.
“I kind of found a lucky move and didn’t have to do too much to get in there. I played it smart at the end and knew I had to reach Tiesj and was glad I got there. – Additional reporting by BBC
It's been 12 years since we've had a South African rider win a stage…
— Le Tour de France UK (@letour_uk) July 14, 2019