IMPEY DOES THE DOUBLE AS PORTE POWERS HIS WAY TO SIXTH WILLUNGA CROWN
DARYL IMPEY and Richie Porte have written themselves into the history books for all the right reasons in a thrilling final climb to the summit of the iconic Willunga Hill on the final stage of the Santos Tour Down Under.
Porte secured his sixth victory on the Willunga Hill-top finish during Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6 – the first time the queen stage closed the race – but it was Impey who surged away from the peloton to take third place on matched time and cement his title defence. It is the first time any rider has won back-to-back in the history of the men’s race.
Impey may relish this year’s victory more than that of 2018, for this was undoubtedly the toughest Santos Tour Down Under in recent memory with the six road stages testing the riders in tough conditions all week.
More than that, Impey’s 2019 Santos general classification victory came with something his 2018 Ochre Jersey didn’t – a stage win, taken in a determined sprint to the finish line for 100% Stage 4 at Campbelltown on Friday.
It also cements Mitchelton-SCOTT’s position as the most successful team in Santos Tour Down Under history, drawing one general classification victory ahead of AG2R La Mondiale. Fitting that an Australian team should lead the win tally on Australia’s Greatest Cycling Race.
The South African champion said it was special to go back to back.
“I never dreamed to come here and win twice in a row,” he said.
“Every year we come here with strong ambitions. I knew the competition is always tough. I just believed in myself, and it was just fantastic to pull it off.”