Daryl Impey has extended his contract with the Orica-Greenedge team. The South African who joined the team two years ago, will be part of Orica-Greenedge for the next three seasons.
“The past two years have been incredible,” Impey said. “We started from scratch to make it into a team. I think [after this year's Tour de France sucess] we are all looking forward to reaching for the stars again."
Impey’s career highlight was winning the team time trial and wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. In the sixth stage to Montpellier he took it from Simon Gerrans who graciously finished behind his teammate and thus became the first South African to ever wear the yellow jersey.
“When Simon and I realised that we could both wear the yellow jersey, that we could share it – and that we actually pulled it off – that was the biggest highlight of my career,” Impey said.
The 28-year old started his professional career in 2008 with Barloworld, as a teammate of Chris Froome. After a year at Radioshack, half a season at continental team MTN-Qhubeka and later in 2011 with Team Netapp, he signed with the newly established Orica-Greenedge in 2012. Impey’s first UCI victory was the fourth stage in the Tour of Turkey in 2009 where he also took the overall victory, despite crashing at high speed after being hit by Theo Bos in the sprint finish. In 2011 he was South African time trial champion. Impey won stages in the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour in Slovenia in 2012. This year he added another stage in the Basque country, another national time trial title and a stage win in the Bayern Rundfahrt to his palmares.
Sports director Matt White praises Impey as a great member of the team in the press release announcing his contract extention.
“He has proven that he’s a super teammate and that he is critical to the team’s overall success. We’ve seen that repeatedly over the past two years. He’s been a part of most of our biggest wins - Gossy’s win at the Giro, Gerro’s win at the Tour, the team time trial win at the Tour and second place at Worlds. He’s a very versatile rider that we can use in a lot of different ways.”
There is still room for improvement, White said. “We know Daryl is capable of even bigger wins. We’re certainly going to give him more opportunity to show that over the next thee years.”
Impey is already looking forward to the 2014 season.
“My programme will mostly stay the same as it was last year: Australia next month and then Oman and Tirreno. The biggest goals in the first half of the season are Milan-San Remo and the Amstel Gold Race. I’m most looking forward to the Tour de France,” he said.
“It’s the biggest race of the season for the team. I’m really hoping to make selection and go back to the race to repeat some of the success we had this year. It’s hard to do, but it’s always nice to have a big challenge. I think we’re all looking forward to reaching for the stars again.”