South African amongst Orica GreenEdge’s most successful riders this season

Daryl ImpeyHe’s already ridden a Grand Tour this year but Daryl Impey is hoping that his strong form and stage win last Friday in the Tour of Slovenia could be enough to give him a green light for the Tour de France.

The South African clocked up victory on stage two of the Slovenian race, beating Simone Ponzi (Astana), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD) and 42 others to the line. The 27 year old also took stage two of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco in April and has clearly clicked in well after moving from NetApp last winter.

“I am hoping to make the selection for the Tour de France which starts next Saturday, but it will be a while till our team gets announced,” Impey said. “Should I not be selected for the Tour then I will do Tour of Poland in July in preparation for the Olympics.”

Either way, he’s happy with his first six months as part of the Australian ProTeam. “I could not have asked for a better season so far.”

Impey is one of the most successful Orica GreenEdge riders thus far in 2012. Luke Durbridge and Michael Albasini have each clocked up four wins, then Impey and Simon Gerrans are next in line with two. His fast finishing speed marks him out as a potential winner in small bunches and, if called upon to do so, he could also be a strong part of the leadout train for Matt Goss.

GreenEdge told VeloNation in recent days that there were no decisions yet about whether or not Impey would ride the Tour.

One factor which will be considered is the fact that he began the first Grand Tour of his career this year. Having the reserves to do the Tour would be important, but he is aided somewhat by the fact that he only did sixteen stages of the Giro, thus avoiding a very heavy final few days.

From the sounds of things, his recovery from that went well. “This was my first race back since the Giro d Italia so I wasn’t quite sure how I would be feeling, but it felt good to get back into the racing,” he stated in his online blog. “My legs were not very good on day one but on stage two I managed to survive with the front guys and won the stage. I fought really hard to stay with the guys as the finishing circuit had a steep climb in it , I won from a group of 40 odd riders. It was a nice surprise and a really good feeling to win a bunch sprint again.”

He finished things off well by taking an impressive third in the final day time trial. It was Impey’s first time to podium in a race against the clock in Europe and further underlines that his form is very good.

Also see: Daryl Impey Interview: Big Season with Orica GreenEdge 

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