Orica-GreenEdge’s Daryl Impey is sitting in seventh place overall after the penultimate stage 5 of the Tour Down Under, and although the team would like to move him further up in the overall classification, they are placing more of an importance on winning the finale stage 6 in Adelaide on Sunday.
“The number one goal for us tomorrow would be to try to win the stage,” said the team’s director Matt White. “If we can get enough seconds we can move up in the general classification, which would be nice.”
Impey started the ‘queen’ stage 5, a 151km race from McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill, in fourth but slipped to seventh overall after placing 12th on the day. He finished the stage 28 seconds behind stage winner Richie Port (Team Sky) and 19 seconds behind the overall race leader Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing).
Impey was among the select group near the end of the race on Willunga Hill, but two strong attacks from Porte split the group and left some, including Impey, desperate to limit their losses.
“We committed everything to the final to limit the time loss on the climb,” said Impey, who placed second in stage 2 and stage 4, and is leading the points competition. “Everybody kept me out of trouble and then I had (Simon) Clarke and Cameron (Meyer) there setting the pace at the bottom of the last climb.
“Then all of the big climbers opened up and got quite a big gap on me. I suffered all of the way to the finish line and am still top 10 on GC, which is pretty good and we have the sprint jersey as a consolation prize.”
The finale stage 6 of the Tour Down Under is a 90km race on King William Road, Adelaide on Sunday. It is expected to be a stage for the sprinters with Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) being the favourite. “Going up against Marcel Kittel is not going to be easy,” White said.
Orica-GreenEdge’s team at the Tour Down Under also includes Impey, Cameron Meyer, Simon Clarke, Mathew Hayman, Sam Bewley, Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn.