Impey focused on overall success at the Tour Down Under

Orica-GreenEdge expect stage three finish to be vital

Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) went close to victory on stage two of the Tour Down Under, with only Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) passing him before the line with a powerful late surge in Sterling.

In the absence of 2014 winner Simon Gerrans, Impey is team leader for Orica-GreenEdge and is focused on the fight for overall victory. His second place was a consequence of fighting for the precious time bonuses that could decide the final overall classification on Sunday. Impey is now fourth overall, seven seconds behind race leader Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia). He is four seconds behind Lobato, who is arguably his biggest rival in the overall classification.

“Unfortunately there was just one guy faster than me. Hats off to him, there was nothing more we could have done today,” Impey said in a statement from the Australian team.

“Today’s finish gives you a good indication of where everyone is at, so to be at the front end of that is pleasing. We are building on our confidence everyday and we will have to see how tomorrow goes. Our focus is on general classification now and we are trying different ways to get up there. I think all the boys are riding really well, everyone’s into their jobs and I had fantastic help from all the boys in the final.”

Just like on stage one, the Orica-GreenEdge team again placed a rider in the break of the day, this time Cameron Meyer, to avoid the responsibility of leading any chase. That fell to key rivals Team Sky and IAM Cycling on the road to Sterling. Meyer got away with Campbell Flakemore (BMC) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and were only caught before the final 21km circuit.

“We knew it would be an aggressive start today,” directeur sportif Matt White said. “We wanted to put pressure on other teams to chase and maybe form a bigger split. As it turned out only three riders ended up getting away, with Cam in there, so we were covered for the rest of the day as far as working. Then it was all about preparing Daryl for the final kilometres and the boys did a very good job.”

Impey and Orica-GreenEdge know that Thursday's third stage to Paracombe could be a big day for the overall classification. The 143.2km stage includes three mid-race circuits before a hill-top finish.

“I think tomorrow is going to be crucial,” White said. “Tomorrow is the day that is going to decide general classification for everybody. But today was start for us, we got some time bonuses, which are crucial here, and we will take them.”
 

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