Daryl Impey can’t quite believe he’s won stage 9.
Daryl Impey can’t quite believe he’s won stage 9.

‘Dream come true’: Aussie team’s magic Tour memory

The biggest win of Daryl Impey's career has propelled Mitchelton-Scott to its first Tour de France stage triumph in three years.

Impey was too strong for Tiesj Benoot in a two-man sprint into Brioude after 170.5km, prompting an outpouring of emotion at the finish.

An inaugural member of Australia's first and only WorldTour team, and a sacrificial workhorse for most of the season, Impey's win was nearly as popular with rivals and as it was teammates.

It was the South African who led out then-teammate Michael Matthews for Mitchelton-Scott's last Tour success in 2016, while he also piloted Simon Gerrans to glory in 2013.

"It's the seventh time I'm riding the Tour de France and I've been in a number of breakaways. To finally nail it today, it's a dream come true. I really don't have any words," Impey said.

"I've been imagining that emotion on the finish line for a long time and to win on Bastille Day, that's a magic memory.

 

Daryl Impey holds on to give Mitchelton—Scott a stage win.
Daryl Impey holds on to give Mitchelton—Scott a stage win.

"This is a dream come true. Something I've really wanted to do. It's so difficult at this level. When the stars all line up, I can't be any prouder. It's fantastic."

Impey told the News Corp Australia at the start of the year that his back-to-back Tour Down Under titles had seen a spike in sales at his dad Tony's Johannesberg bike shop.

The old man might have to open up another store after this.

Impey was part of a 14-man breakaway that formed early in the stage and built a lead of more than 14 minutes.

But it was his bridging effort inside the final 15km to catch escapees Nicholas Roche and Benoot that laid the platform for victory.

"I'm over the moon for Daryl. He's one of the guys who sacrifices himself for 90 per cent

of the year," a teary Mitchelton-Scott sports director Matt White said.

 

Daryl Impey celebrates his big triumph.
Daryl Impey celebrates his big triumph.

"To win in his national champion jersey would be a very proud moment for him and one he will never forget.

"We've had to wait three years for this one. We were only talking in the car that we've had a bit of a dry spell - 2013, 2016, 2019 - every three years we nail it."

In another piece of good news for Aussie cycling fans, Richie Porte survived Stage 9 after crashing out on the same stage in the last two editions.

"I didn't think too much about it, but now that you mention it, it's nice to get here," Porte said.

The Tasmanian followed a late attack by French star Romain Bardet on the day's last climb and looked strong before Team Ineos reeled it in.

"Bardet is a local here so I thought if anyone was going to have the knowledge it was probably him, but Ineos snuffed that one out," he said.

 

Richie Porte was happy to simply survive stage 9.
Richie Porte was happy to simply survive stage 9.

"I'm OK. It would have been nice to have not lost the time in team time trial, but there's still a long way to go."

But the day belonged to Impey and Mitchelton-Scott. Although, as roommate Chris Juul Jensen joked, not that much will change.

"He's the win making coffee for me every morning. He'll still be making the coffee tomorrow morning," Juul Jensen said.

"Impey is the team, you know? He's been here from the very beginning, no one deserves it more than he does."

Impey enjoys his moment of glory.
Impey enjoys his moment of glory.