How Australia dominated at the Glasgow World Cycling Championships
Daryl Impey, the only rider who has successfully defended the Santos Tour Down Under crown with back-to back wins, has officially raced his last stage race of his professional career.
The South African rider took to social media earlier this year to announce his retirement, saying “I don’t want to stop cycling when I’ve had enough…I’ve pushed it as far as I can go that I’m still enjoying it (right now) but then I think I’ll focus my energy elsewhere”.
The Arctic Race of Norway was officially his last stage race of 2023, with his team Israel - Premier Tech winning the best team and his teammate Stephen Williams claiming the overall victory.
In his sixteen-year career, Impey raced at the Santos Tour Down Under 10 times, taking the overall win consecutively in 2018 and 2019, and winning Stage 4 in Campbelltown in 2019.
His aggressive and strategical efforts in 2018 and 2019, gave him the general classification wins, beating the ‘King of Willunga Hill’, Richie Porte on both accounts.
The South African’s triumphant Santos Tour Down Under history also includes helping Australian team-mate Simon Gerrans to overall victories in 2014 and 2016.
Reflecting on Impeys career, Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Stuart O’Grady said:
"Daryl is a South African sporting superstar, who has certainly left his mark on the cycling world.
He was an absolute champion on the bike and also a true gentleman off of it.
His stint in “Yellow” at the Tour De France catapulted South African cycling to new levels in 2013 and his 2 consecutive victories in the TDU (’18 / ’19) made him a local hero.
I’m proud to have been a team mate and raced alongside Daryl and shared some incredible victories along the way.
I want to wish him and his family all the very best for the next Stage of their lives."
In his numerous victories, Impey earned his first Tour de France win in 2019 where he beat Tiesj Benoot in a two-man sprint. He has also won two stages in the Tour of the Basque Country, Tour of Switzerland, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour of Catalonia.
Success aside, it’s the mark Impey has left on his Australian fans that will be missed the most. He had a dedicated fan base, with supporters like Harry baking him something every time he rode Down Under. Here’s Harry and Impey’s interaction from the stage 3 start at Norwood this year:
Impey, who is known to vlog his travels and races on his popular YouTube channel, documented his last race at the Santos Tour Down Under early this year. You can watch his videos here.
Daryl Impey often called the Santos Tour Down Under his favourite race on the calendar, and we’ll miss watching him race here every January. We wish him the best of luck on his next chapter of life.