Our London Olympian Daryl Impey will be pumping the pedals in aid of the fight against rhino poaching when he saddles up for the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge in Gauteng later this month.
Since being the first South African rider to compete in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Olympic Games in the same year, Impey is arguably South Africa’s foremost cyclist at the moment.
At the Tour de France he finished in the top 10 in four of the stages and at the Giro d’Italia he had two top-10 finishes. Personal highlights for him were winning the second stage in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, as well as a stage in the Tour of Slovakia.
Since the beginning of the poaching epidemic in 2008, South Africa has lost over 1400 rhinos. ┬áDespite huge efforts, this figure increases daily. Just this year more than 455 rhinos have been killed.
These frightening statistics are one of the reasons why Daryl Impey (Orica/GreenEdge) will ride the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge (18 November) in aid of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Impey is anything but a one-dimensional cyclist. His other great passions are nature and the environment. ÔÇ£When I am in Europe I find it very disconcerting to hear of all the rhinos that are killed. One of South Africa’s most unique features is its wildlife, especially the ‘Big Five’ (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard). This is one of the main reasons why so many Europeans visit South Africa. When you keep on hearing about rhinos that are being poached, you realize that a part of South Africa’s heritage is in danger of being lost forever. There may even come a time when we will only be able to talk about the ‘Big Four’ and that will certainly not be fair to the generations to come.
ÔÇ£It is the right of everyone to see rhinos in their natural habitat. I hope that I will be able to make a small difference towards the conservation of the rhinos with my ride at the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge. But it is not the only reason why I am riding the Cycle Challenge. I am also in favour of a healthy, clean environment. It would be great to see a country where more people use bicycles as a mode of transport instead of cars. Hopefully I will also be able to create awareness for bicycles as an alternative transport.
ÔÇ£The time has come that people should stop talking about saving the environment and start doing something.ÔÇØ
Impey is looking forward to ride with the back markers of the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge again. ÔÇ£I rode with them last year. They are, as far as I am concerned, the true heroes of the day. You should see the guys at the back, battling it out. Some of them don’t even know what their correct saddle height should be, and others are using some really old equipment, but to give up is never an option.
ÔÇ£This makes me really appreciate the opportunities that I am receiving as a professional rider. Hopefully I will be able to help some of these riders to improve on their personal best times.ÔÇØ