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Impey tops in Turkey

South Africa’s Daryl Impey won cycling’s 45th Presidential Tour of Turkey yesterday, despite a nasty crash with less than a kilometre of the race to go.

The Barloworld rider remained on the ground for 20 minutes before getting back on his bike to cross the finish line. reports that he was taken to the hospital in Alanya where the doctors reported a fracture of the third disc of his lumbar vertebra, a micro-fracture of his neck, facial trauma, a few broken teeth and a deep cut in his lips.

His four teammates Paolo Longo Borghini, Diego Caccia, Giampaolo Cheula and Patrick Calcagni and his directeur sportif Alberto Volpi went on stage to receive on Impey’s behalf the yellow and green jerseys.

“It’s very difficult to celebrate a win in these circumstances,” said Caccia.

“It was a nasty sprint,” Longo Borghini explained. “There wasn’t any respect for anybody. Some riders tried to pass where there was no space for it.”

Impey finished 8min 20sec behind stage winner Sebastian Siedler of Vorarlberg-Coractec.The final stage was a 166km ride from Antalya to Alanya.

In the overall standings, Impey clocked┬á 29hr 19min 32sec to claim victory by the slimmest of margins, one second ahead of Quick Step’s Italian rider Davide Malacarne. Barloworld also won the team competition.

With 800 metres to go, former track sprinter Theo Bos (Rabobank Continental) put his right hand on Impey’s shoulder and caused the crash. The panel of UCI commissaires watched the TV replay several times but chose not to take action against Bos for his involvement in the accident as it was unclear whether or not he did it aggressively.

Despite the dramatic circumstances, the 45th Tour of Turkey has seen the birth of a champion. There will be more to be seen from Impey at other races when he’ll have recovered from this spectacular and painful crash. It’s also the first top three result for Malacarne who is another champion in the making.

Impey’s fellow South Africans, Nolan Hoffman (Team Stegcomputer-Netel) placed 62nd overall James Lewis Perry (also Team Stegcomputer – Neotel) 108th.