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Impey joins German team
- Updated: May 11, 2011
Top cyclist Daryl Impey saddles up for the Azerbaijan International Cycling Tour in Iran on Friday and it will be a historic occasion for him.
The reason being that this will be his last ride for Team MTN Qhubeka. Impey has received a contract offer to ride for the German Pro-Continental Team, Team NetApp. Daryl will ride for Team NetApp for the first time at the end of May in the Bayern Rundfahrt (UCI 2. HC). And as early as next month he might already be competing in the Tour of Switzerland racing shoulder to shoulder with some of the best ProTour-riders.
ÔÇ£My heart is split into two.It was certainly not an easy decision to make but obviously I want to race in Europe. My objective is to try and race all the Grand Tours one day (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta Espana),ÔÇØ Impey said.
ÔÇ£It is really admirable of Douglas Ryder (MTN Qhubeka’s team owner) to release me.┬áIt shows a lot about his character especially that he is true to his word. ÔÇ£Right from the beginning Douglas made it clear that he would not stand in my way if I get an offer to race for one of the bigger teams in Europe.ÔÇØ
“I am pleased that we have been able to gain Daryl Impey for our team. Daryl is an all-rounder who will support the team in the demanding upcoming racing schedule. He is strong in tours, is an absolute team player and has proven to have a very stable form despite some turbulence in the last six months. We are counting on this morale and performance,” says Ralph Denk, Team Manager of Team NetApp regarding Impey’s signing.
“My special thanks go to Dou Ryder, the Team Manager of MTN Qhubeka.He didn’t hesitate for a minute and released Daryl immediately to make the switch, despite his important role in the team,” Ralph Denk continued.
ÔÇ£I really owe Douglas a lot. In the beginning of the year when it became known that the Pegasus ProTour-deal had fallen through he was one of the first to throw me a helpline. It was not the first time that he has supported me in my cycling career. I really enjoyed my time with MTN Qhubeka. My teammates are amazing guys and racing for this team, that is all about providing opportunities to others, was truly special. Who knows what the future may hold. Maybe in a few years from now, if Douglas manages to base a team in Europe, I might be racing with some of my current teammates again.ÔÇØ
Ryder made it clear that he fully supports Impey’s decision to race in Europe. ÔÇ£It could not have been easy for Daryl to drop from a Pro Tour level team (Team Radioshack) to our Continental team MTN Qhubeka. But he has been so positive with the level of racing opportunities we could provide him and so we are truly happy that he can go back to Europe and race at the highest levels in the sport once more.
Daryl has been a huge asset to our team both on and off the┬á bike. As a team captain he led by example in his performances and hard training sessions and also in the professional manner in which he dealt with the media, race organisers, the public and MTN’s customers. His international experience and confidence has uplifted all our riders to believe in themselves and to take on big challenges. We will miss him, but wish him the best of luck with his new cycling career.ÔÇØ
Some of Impey’s highlights riding for MTN Qhubeka was winning the individual time trial at the South African Road Championship in Port Elizabeth; finishing third overall in the Cell C Tour of South Africa and second overall in the Tour du Maroc in which he also won a stage.
Daryl has raised thousands of Rands and will continue to support the Qhubeka Bikes for Life Initiative which gives children bikes to improve their quality of life in return for work done to improve the environment and community.