Impey took the overall victory at the Tour Down Under and has been able to carry his momentum into the championships where he raced without team support and relied on his experience for tactical advantage.
He finished ahead of Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension-Data) and Jason Oosthuizen (Barzani Pro Cycling) at the end of the 154.8km race held in and around Oudtshoorn.
He bridged across in a small breakaway group after 50kilometres of racing, capitalised on a crash which stripped a well-stocked Dimension-Data squad of riders and then settled in for the final 25km with van Rensburg and Oosthuizen.
“It feels so good to win, I have lost a few championships after some bad luck so it was about time luck was in my favour," Impey said. "It is a nice relief to finally get the jersey, you always have these races that you want to win and finally I can tick off this one.
“The race split quite easily, I put it in the gutter and we rode across to the leaders in a group of about 12 guys and there was six or seven Dimension-Data riders there. One guy touched my wheel and actually brought down four of them (Dimension-Data riders) and left just four of us to ride across.
“Once we got to the front group of eight, there were guys there interested in the under 23 title so they were riding and they obviously didn’t want Dimension-Data to come back.
"When I saw they were coming back at the end, around 60 kilometres to go, I just put my head down and went and I was able to take a couple of guys with me and encouraged them to work.
“I knew once we were just three out front, from that Jason had had a good ride but was a bit spent and that Jacques isn’t really known for sprinting so I was fairly confident I could take the victory then.”