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Impey optimistic after returning at Picardie

Daryl Impey drives the RadioShack train

Daryl Impey drives the RadioShack train (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Team RadioShack’s Daryl Impey has said he has felt no ill-effects after his return to racing at the Tour of Picardie following a serious crash at the Tour of Catalonia in late March. Speaking to Cyclingnews from his Spanish base in Girona, the 25-year-old South African described himself as, "impressed with the condition I had" in the three-day French stage race.

"It didn’t go too badly at all. I didn’t have any expectations really as it was my first race in a couple of months and I just had some training back home under my belt. But I went there intending to do a good job for the team and I think I managed that. I did my part, chasing down breaks and setting the pace in the bunch.

"I was actually impressed with the condition I had. There were some good signs for the upcoming races. It was good to get my racing legs back and also to see all the boys again, to get that racing vibe."

Impey crashed on the third stage in Catalonia while part of a break of 13 riders. Writing about the incident on his website, he recalled: "We were coming down a really sketchy descent and we had a sharp left at the bottom of this downhill which had gravel on it. I was sixth wheel and I followed the guys in front, but for some reason my rear wheel slid on the gravel and I then lost control, sliding into a barrier and over the bridge into a river six metres below. I hit my head really hard and my Giro helmet saved my life, that’s for sure. I banged my knee pretty badly on the concrete pillar."

He received several stitches in his knee but told Cyclingnews that it’s feeling okay now. "I’ve got no niggles or pain, there’s just a little bump on it, so I was pretty lucky considering how bad things could have been. The team have been great, not putting on any pressure on me at all, telling me to take as much time as I need."

The South African’s next target will be the Tour of Luxembourg. "My first objective will be to do something in Luxembourg," he said. "I’m not thinking about a stage win or anything like that, I’d just like to get through in good shape and be able to move forwards again from there."

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).