SA Cyclist Daryl Impey Surges to Silver Medal at Commonwealth Games 2022
SA Cyclist Daryl Impey Surges to Silver Medal at Commonwealth Games 2022. Photo: TeamSA screenshot

Daryl Impey missed out on this year’s Tour de France due to Covid-19 but the 37-year-old showed no lingering effects of the illness as he sprinted to the silver medal in a thrilling men’s road race. By GARY LEMKE in Birmingham.

The vastly experienced South African followed New Zealand’s Aaron Gate over the line in 3hr 28min 29sec after a cat-and-mouse affair over the 160km route, and a race in which pre-race favourite Mark Cavendish was trapped early in the peloton and lost contact with the front groups as the lead regularly changed hands.

Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas of Wales had launched a dramatic late attack hoping to avoid a sprint finish and secure the gold medal. However, Fred Wright of England along with the remnants of the day’s leading group hauled back the Welshman.

Wright opened up his sprint for the line, but Gate had too much speed. Impey got going to finish second, a huge smile on his face as he crossed the line. And why not? At the age of 37 a Commonwealth Games silver medal will sit beautifully on a CV that is as long as his arms.


IF YOU’RE IN SOUTH AFRICA – Watch Team SA in action at the Commonwealth Games on Showmax Pro

One of the unsung heroes of the race was 26-year-old Morne van Niekerk, who was in the lead group for long periods of the race and helped make it a true pace. He did a lot of work for his teammate but couldn’t get into contention for the sprint and finished 12th, some 26 seconds behind the winner. However, Impey will have been singing his teammate’s praises afterwards.

There were two other Team SA cyclists in the race, Callum Ormiston (37th) and Gustav Basson, who, like Cavendish, was hauled off the road 144km into the race.

Impey said after the race:

Chuffed to pull off Silver… for Team SA in the Commonwealth Games Mens Road Race. Super tough day out there but the boys rode incredible, always in the mix, never missing a beat. Morne was just incredible support at the end and gave me every chance possible to go for the win. Nice to have the boys fully committed to the plan and pulling off a nice result in the end.”

Impey’s silver medal takes Team SA’s haul at these Gales to 27 – seven gold, nine silver and 11 bronze.

Earlier, the women’s road race evolved into a sprint finished, as expected, and on a flat course it wouldn’t suit Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, who was the highest-ranked road race rider in the field. They went over the line next to one another, credited with the same time as the winner, but were never in a position to strike for the medals. The Australian Georgia Baker hung on for gold. Moolman-Pasio crossed the line in 11th, with Hayley Preen 12th, both in 2hr 44min 46sec. The first 24 finishers were credited with that time. Kerry Jonker was 39th, 5min 17sec behind.

IF YOU’RE IN SOUTH AFRICA – Watch Team SA in action at the Commonwealth Games on Showmax Pro

Source: TeamSA