Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Nick-of-time Impey wins tight Tour stage

The South African cyclist delivered on a timely fine performance to keep his Down Under title defence alive.

Launching a challenge in defence of the title he won last year, South African rider Daryl Impey snatched a stage victory on Friday, climbing to second place overall at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.

Impey, who rides for Mitchelton-Scott, edged out Patrick Bevin of New Zealand to win the 129km fourth stage between Unley and Campbelltown in 3:03:27, putting up another fight after he won the season-opening World Tour contest last year.

While Bevin retained his lead at the front of the peloton, Impey moved into the runner-up spot, just seven seconds off the pace in the general classification.

“When I came here I wanted to do something special,” said an emotional Impey, who revealed that a close friend had passed away in the build-up to the race.

“To be able to deliver today was pretty emotional and definitely a confidence booster.”

Another South African rider, Ryan Gibbons, was also well placed in fifth position overall.

Gibbons, turning out for local team Dimension Data, was 21 seconds behind Bevin ahead of Saturday’s 150km penultimate stage between Glenelg and Strathalbyn.

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