Luke Durbridge Tour de France column: Daryl’s stage nine win merits a beer

'We came down to dinner and there must have been five or six blown-up pictures of Adam around the restaurant. It was bit like a shrine'

Daryl Impey has been a part of four Tour de France victories: he was
part of the 2013 TTT win and he led out Simon Gerrans to a stage win in 2013 — he took the yellow jersey that day too — and in 2016 I was in a breakaway with Daryl and Michael Matthews and Michael won. And now Daryl gets to win one. He’s been a massive part of the team and it was really cool to see a good mate of mine take a victory.

We heard about it on the radio. Matt White, our DS, was trying to keep his cool, being all deadpan on the radio, “Just to let you know Daryl has won the stage.” After the stage I said, “You could show a bit of excitement.” He said, “Well, you know, Adam is still racing until the line so I didn’t want to stress him out.”

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I’ve not seen Daryl yet but when I do I’m going to give him a big hug. We’ll probably enjoy a beer or two later. It’s very hard to win a stage of the Tour de France so it certainly merits it.

Tonight we’re in a chateau, which is pretty sweet — the hotels at the Tour are a bit of a lottery. The other day we stayed in a hotel chain that was a sponsor of Adam Yates’s team when he was a young lad racing in France and we came down to dinner and there must have been five or six blown-up pictures of Adam around the restaurant. It was bit like a shrine. At least it was a private room for us but the guy was pretty keen to let us know that he had that connection.

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Some of the guys thought maybe it was like that all the time but I think he’d set it up especially for us. There were a lot of jokes. We all like to have a healthy level of sarcasm on this team.

Definitely not a joke though is Chris Juul-Jensen’s approach to the music on the bus — he’s pretty good at picking stuff for the mood we’re in or if the stage is intense, for instance. He thinks about it way too much. Today, after the win, it was ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by the Beatles. That hit the spot.

Australian Luke Durbridge is riding the Tour de France for Mitchelton-Scott. Read his dispatches from the 2019 Tour in Cycling Weekly, on sale in newsagents and supermarkets, priced £3.25.

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