Cape Town - Two-time Olympian Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) raced to the South
African national road title in Oudtshoorn on Saturday, adding to the
time trial title he won earlier in the week.
The Mitchelton-Scott team rider
out-sprinted Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka climber Jacques Janse van
Rensburg for the win while third place on the day, as well as the Under-23
title, went to Jason Oosthuizen (Barzani Pro Cycling).
The race was held over 153km and Team Dimension Data were
hoping to defend the title won by Reinardt Janse van Rensburg last year.
Injury ruled the Pretoria-based rider for this year’s edition and
there was early disaster for Dimension Data. Just 35km into the race the
SA-based team were in a strong position with both Jacques Janse van
Rensburg and Louis Visser in the early break of the day.
There was high drama in the peloton as five of the team’s remaining
six riders all came crashing down after a touch of wheels between Impey
and continental team rider, Kent Main.
Main hit the deck hard as Impey came across his front wheel in the
gutter and as the entire team was following his wheel, they subsequently
all came crashing down too.
Impey rode off into the distance, almost immediately bridging to the break with the riders who weren’t involved in the crash.
Main was sent to hospital but Ryan Gibbons, Nic Dlamini, Nic Dougall and Stefan de Bod picked themselves up and started chasing.
Jaco Venter, who just missed the big crash, made it to the front
group with Impey but then punctured and joined the quartet in the chase.
The leading group was not waiting around though and drove open the gap.
With the numbers upfront, and the Dimension Data team battered and
bruised, there was no coming back despite a valiant chase effort.
Eventually Impey then went clear from the lead group and Janse van Rensburg and Oosthuizen followed.
When it came down to the sprint, there was no matching the Tour Down Under victor who is in incredible form at the moment.
Impey secured his first ever national road title to go with his
seven-time trial titles, Janse van Rensburg took home the silver medal
with Oosthuizen the third rider across the line but also the first Under-23
rider, and therefore winning that title.
Fortunately, on initial assessment it seems no broken bones were
sustained by the fallen riders, mostly cuts and road rash, a concussion
for Main though and Gibbons has been sent for further precautionary
scans at a hospital in George.