Johannesburg – While he admitted he would struggle to match his achievements after a superb season, Daryl Impey said on Wednesday he was still motivated to improve on his sterling performances.
Impey made history this year, becoming the first South African to lead the Tour de France, and snatching the silver medal in the men's team time trial at the Road World Championships in Italy with professional outfit Orica-GreenEdge.
“It's going to be quite hard to top this year, but there are always other goals and races to win,” he said after arriving in Johannesburg for a well deserved rest.
“Even duplicating this season would be great, but I'm not going to put pressure on myself. I'm just going to go out and give 100 percent in every race.
“I've still got a lot of drive and there are races I'd really like to do well in.”
Impey hoped he had taken another major step in lifting the status of South African cycling, after Robert Hunter won a stage at the Tour de France in 2007 and Team MTN-Qhubeka was awarded a pro continental licence this year.
A former winner of the Tour of Turkey and multiple national champion, the 28-year-old sprinter believed the sport was at a turning point in South Africa, with local road cyclists breaking onto the international stage and signing professional contracts with European outfits.
And though he was delighted with his turnout this season, he said he had also received a boost in his personal life.
“It's been a good year. Everything has come together.
“The birth of my son, Ayden, was probably the biggest high, and of course the Tour de France yellow jersey was massive, and the silver at the world champs.
“Hopefully I've made a difference to cycling in South Africa and we can continue to build momentum.
“I could not have asked for a better season.”
Impey confirmed he would now take a break after a long campaign, although he would take part in the 94.7 Cycle Challenge next month in aid of charity.
He would return to competitive action at the Tour Down Under in Australia in January. – Sapa