Olympian Impey at TDF | SASCOC - SASCOC

Olympian Impey at TDF

South Africa’s lone road cyclist a the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Daryl Impey is lying 100th after stage two of the Tour de France cycle race, writes Mark Etheridge.

Impey, 27, is riding his first Tour de France, the world’s greatest road cycle race, and will move straight on to his first Olympics, the world’s biggest sporting spectacle when the Tour ends on 22 July.

The South African was 120th after Monday’s stage, won by Britain’s Mark Cavendish and he’s one spot ahead of Cavendish on the General Classification. Riding for the Orica-Greenedge outfit, Impey is 2min 29sec down on overall leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland. The second stage of the race was a 207.5-kilometre ride between Vis├® and Tournai.

The other South African (and also an Olympian) in the Tour de France, Robbie Hunter is 150th in the GC (the Garmin-Sharp man 4:05 back).

Writing on his blog after stage two, Impey said although he had psyched himself up for riding the Tour de France it was another thing actually riding it. “Hectic doesn’t describe the Tour! It is completely different to any other races, there is so much hype around it, everyday is like World Champs and nobody gives anybody some space plus it’s so much faster at the end. I spoke to Robbie [Hunter] a while ago and he warned me about it. Obviously I’m prepared for it but when you racing it, it’s different. You can feel the tension in the group and when you are on the start line you just prepare yourself for the worst.

“Today’s sprint final was hectic and although we lost each other near the end we still made up for it and I was happy to be able to put Gossy with Greipel and Cavendish at 300m to go with the help of my teammates, plus we got some valuable points for the green which is important.”

Meanwhile our three women’s road cyclists at the Games are in action in the Giro Donne women’s race in Italy.

After four stages, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio is ninth (5min back), Jo van de Winkel is 17th (13:39) and Robyn de Groot 44th (36:57). The three are riding for the Lotto Belisol Ladies team while in Europe.

Two other SA cyclists are also in action at the race. Lise Olivier (All Africa Games time trial champion) lies 28th while Cherise Stander, left out of the Olympic team by CyclingSA, is 66th.

The world’s biggest stage race for women, the event ends on 7 July. Current leader is Marianne Vos of the Netherlands.