Impey makes history after taking yellow jersey from teammate Gerrans

Daryl Impey makes history as the first South African to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

Story highlights

  • Andre Greipel wins sixth stage of Tour de France in Montpellier
  • Daryl Impey takes over in yellow jersey from teammate Simon Gerrans
  • First South African to achieve the honor
  • Race favorites come through flat sixth stage unscathed

Daryl Impey became the first South African to don the famous yellow jersey as Andre Greipel powered to his first stage win on the year's Tour de France in Montpellier Thursday.

Impey claimed the race lead from Orica-GreenEdge teammate Simon Gerrans by virtue of taking 13th place behind Germany's Greipel in the frantic dash for the line.

The star sprinters finished in a small group -- five seconds ahead of the main bunch -- which included Australia's Gerrans and all the main favorites for overall victory.

Impey now leads the standings by three seconds from Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen with Gerrans in third place at five seconds.

Read: Cavendish chases 'The Cannibal'

"It'll sink in tomorrow but I think it's going to be amazing to ride in the Tour de France as the leader," he told the race's official website.

Becoming a Tour de France champ
Becoming a Tour de France champ

    JUST WATCHED

    Becoming a Tour de France champ

MUST WATCH

Becoming a Tour de France champ 03:21
South African cyclist: Never give up
South African cyclist: Never give up

    JUST WATCHED

    South African cyclist: Never give up

MUST WATCH

South African cyclist: Never give up 03:09
French reaction to Armstrong confession
French reaction to Armstrong confession

    JUST WATCHED

    French reaction to Armstrong confession

MUST WATCH

French reaction to Armstrong confession 03:05
How has cycling recovered?
How has cycling recovered?

    JUST WATCHED

    How has cycling recovered?

MUST WATCH

How has cycling recovered? 03:01
Cycling's Next Generation
Cycling's Next Generation

    JUST WATCHED

    Cycling's Next Generation

MUST WATCH

Cycling's Next Generation 01:46

"I'm going to be on a high the whole way to the finish and hopefully I'll feel like I'm floating," Impey added.

He paid tribute to Gerrans, content to sit in the bunch while Impey played his role of lead out man for the team's sprinter Matt Goss, who faded to 15th on the stage.

"He was happy enough to let the jersey go and to give me this opportunity to wear this jersey for South Africa and myself."

Read: Gerrans claims stage first for Orica-GreenEdge

It was also a triumphant day for Lotto's Greipel, edged out Slovakian Peter Sagan and fellow German Marcel Kittel after the 176.5 km from Aix-en- Provence with Britain's Mark Cavendish in fourth place.

Cavendish was held up by a crash 34km from the finish and had to chase back on to the fast moving bunch.

Bidding for a second straight stage win, he could not come to terms with former teammate Greipel and sat up before the line.

Read: Tour de Farce as bus blocks finish line

Friday's seventh stage takes the peloton over 205.5 km ride from Montpellier to Albi.

The main contenders, such as race favorite Chris Froome of Team Sky, will get their first chance to shine in the race's first mountain stages in the Pyrenees Saturday and Sunday.

        Sports spotlight

      • AG2R pair Peraud and Romain Bardet (right) thrilled the French fans with their performances on the 2014 Tour de France.

        When will French win Le Tour?

        Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
      • Steve Way leads the in the Commonwealth Games marathon with the favorites massing behind him.

        From 20-a-day man to 26.2 miles

        Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
      • The queen of the selfies

        After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
      • Joanna Rowsell is flanked by Australian duo Annette Edmonson and Amy Cure (right) after the medal presentation for the women's individual pursuit.

        Rowsell stands proud again

        Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
      • GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 23: John Barrowman performs during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

        Gay kiss steals Glasgow show

        At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
      • Daniel Carter of the All Blacks in action during the Third Test Match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France at Yarrow Stadium on June 22, 2013 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

        Can the All Blacks make history?

        The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
      • FOR USE ON CNN PHOTO BLOG ONLY

        Three days with 'The Greatest'

        Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
      • SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23:  Sidney Crosby #87 of Canada celebrates after scoring his team's second goal in the second period during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Sweden on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

        Can ice hockey go global?

        With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
      • The first cover star of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, Babette March

        Swimsuit legacy: First cover model

        Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.