Daryl Impey was protected and supported all the way on the difficult Royal Bernard Drome Classic course, and he paid back his Israel Start-Up Nation teammates by winning the sprint of the field to take second place.

“I am happy to get my first podium for ISN and get things started on a good note,” said the South African, riding only his third race for the Israeli team.

Even though the plan was always to back him today, “I wasn’t sure how I would go,” he admitted. “But I wanted to get back the feeling of racing for the final. I was well protected all day and Alessandro De Marchi did a really good job positioning me in the end, and I had decent legs to win the sprint for second.”

Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Andrea Bagioli got away from the field and soloed in for the win, but Daryl took advantage of Alessandro’s work to take the sprint of the 35-man chasing group, giving himself the runner-up spot on the podium. The Italian ISN rider finished in that group as well.

“It was the first podium for Daryl in his new colors. It was great,” rejoiced DS Lionel Marie. “We are on a good track.”