Daryl Impey won stage 9, out-kicking breakaway companion Tiesj Benoot in a two-rider sprint in Brioude. “It’s the seventh time I’m riding the Tour de France and have been in a number of breakaways. To finally nail it today, it’s a dream come true,” Impey said. “I really don’t have any words.”

Mitchelton-Scott to target stage wins at the Tour de France

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Mitchelton-Scott won’t be targeting overall success at this year’s Tour de France. Instead, the Australian outfit has “selected its strongest team of opportunists” and will focus on stage wins.

Adam Yates and Esteban Chaves headline the eight-rider squad and while both have finished in the top four of a Grand Tour before — with Yates winning the Tour’s best young rider jersey in 2016 — both will be focused on stage victories this time around. Also in the line-up is Daryl Impey, winner of a stage in last year’s race, and Mikel Nieve, winner of three Giro d’Italia stages and one at the Vuelta a España.

Chris Juul-Jensen returns for his third Tour, Jack Bauer is making his fifth appearance, while Sam Bewley and Luka Mezgec are both making their Tour de France debut.

“This year has not been a normal one by any stretch of the imagination but the team is focused and ready for the challenge,” said head sports director Matt White in a team press release. “We are very happy with the mix of experience and talent we have available for this year’s race. This is a very complete group across all terrains.

“Last year was an incredible race for the team and we will continue in the same vein of targeting stage wins throughout. One thing for sure is we won’t be leaving France without giving our all and making our fans and sponsors proud of the way we take on the world.”

Mitchelton-Scott won four stages at last year’s Tour de France: two with Simon Yates (who isn’t racing this year’s Tour), one with Matteo Trentin (who now races for CCC), and one with Impey. The South African is hoping to add to his tally in what will be his final Tour de France with Mitchelton-Scott before he heads to Israel Start-Up Nation in 2021.

“A stage win for the team would definitely make [the Tour] successful and I would love to be the one who does it, personally that would be great,” Impey said. “Last year was hugely successful and will be difficult to repeat, but we will certainly be going all out to achieve that.

“Being a stage winner does bring a certain calmness for me. I was always hunting this and was sometimes over-excited which ruined my chances. I can certainly think more clearly now without having to think ‘what if this is my only chance’. Having won at that level and from a break of many specialists on that day gives me confidence in the sense that I know I can do it.”

The rescheduled 2020 Tour de France is set to run from next Saturday August 29 until Sunday September 20.

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