Criterium du Dauphine: Impey rides the wave of Mitchelton-Scott's Giro success

Daryl Impey continued Mitchelton-Scott's rich vein of success with a stage 1 victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné, edging Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) to second and third respectively in Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert.

Seven categorised climbs contributed to more than 2,700 metres of climbing over the 179-kilometre stage from Valence dashing any chance of a bunch sprint for the likes of the fast men Bryan Coquard, Fabio Jakobsen or Phil Bauhaus, who are all at the race.

The intermediate terrain would normally put Daryl Impey in with a chance of success but the South African road and time trial champion admitted he hadn't expected to take the stage, "To be honest I was actually struggling all day, I didn't have good sensations. Even with two laps to go, I said to [Alex] Edmondson he can do the final for himself rather than looking out for me, so I'd kind of put myself out the race before we got to the end.

"Finally, I saw him come back on the climb and I thought actually if we keep trying and fighting we might be able to salvage the day a little bit."

One and a half laps of a finish circuit included two ascents of the category 4 Côte du Barrage de Grangent and saw attacks from Julian Alaphilippe and Vincenzo Nibali, but a thinned peloton of 65 riders came together to contest the chaotic, slightly uphill finale.

"I think that because I wasn't feeling so good all day I actually saved a lot of energy and the only time I hit the front today was in the final, so I surprised myself, I never thought I'd be sitting here today giving an interview after the stage. I was surprised."

13 days in pink at the Giro d'Italia

Impey's victory is Mitchelton-Scott's 20th of the season, and follows five stage victories and Simon Yates' extended run in the maglia rosa at the Giro d'Italia last month. The success in Italy appears to be rubbing off on the rest of the squad and Impey says how watching the first Grand Tour of the season, combined with a youthful squad is motivating the team for more victories.

"After a successful start to the year we're not chasing anything so we're willing to risk a little to win races and sometimes that's what makes the magic.

"When you see the guys doing so well at the Giro, you kind of want to be a part of that action. You're sitting at home thinking it would be awesome to be a part of that team. You come to your race and you want to get that feeling. That's what's driving us all."

The Yates' success and continuing development

Adam Yates leads Mitchelton-Scott at the Critérium du Dauphiné as part of his preparations for a Tour de France title challenge. The young Briton came fourth in the 2016 edition of the race and won the best young riders classification - which Simon Yates also achieved in 2017 - and is tipped as a favourite for this week's race.

"We're quite a young team, and we're kind of all growing in confidence. I'm actually one of the older guys on the team now, but it's nice. It's like a baptism of fire, all these young guys who just want to race, thinking in a bit of a different way - not so cautious."

Adam's twin brother Simon wore the maglia rosa for 13 days at last month's Giro d'Italia with three stage victories and some aggressive racing before losing nearly 40-minutes on stage 19 into Bardonecchia after Team Sky tore the race apart early on in the stage.

The team will hope Adam can go three stages further than his brother next month in France and take a first Grand Tour for the ever-improving Australian team.

"Cycling is a sport of extreme highs and extreme lows. When you're on top like that enjoying the success, you've got to make the most of it, and that's what we're doing right now."

Cyclingnews Films' second production CRESCENDO is available to buy or rent on Vimeo.

CRESCENDO from Cyclingnews Films on Vimeo.

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