17 December 2013

South Africa: Daily Maverick's South African Sportsperson of the Year - Daryl Impey


Daryl Impey made history this year when he became the first South African to wear the Yellow Jersey at the Tour de France. It was a magnificent achievement and although cycling is not yet a nationally celebrated sport, Impey could serve as the catalyst for shining more light on the possibilities of cycling in South Africa.

As a sport, cycling is growing in South Africa. There has been a peak in interest in the last few years and in the townships, programmes are being run to encourage positive change. The Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy (LCA), for example, runs a road and a BMX cycling programme in Khayelitsha, which combines teaching kids how to ride with life skills.

South African cyclists keep on achieving and, despite the doping-controversies of the past which has seemingly come synonymous with the sport, South Africa's cyclists have remained relatively clean.

Yet, these men and women are hardly celebrated for their achievements. One cyclist who had an extraordinary impact on cycling in South Africa this year is Daryl Impey. He made history earlier this year when he wore the Yellow Jersey at the Tour De France.

Impey, who rides for the Australian Orica-GreenEdge,...

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