Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

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.

      Just Watched

      Becoming a Tour de France champ

    Becoming a Tour de France champ 03:21
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      South African cyclist: Never give up

    South African cyclist: Never give up 03:09
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      French reaction to Armstrong confession

    French reaction to Armstrong confession 03:05
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      How has cycling recovered?

    How has cycling recovered? 03:01
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Cycling's Next Generation

    Cycling's Next Generation 01:46
    PLAY VIDEO

    "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.

        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.

        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.
      • 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.

        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)

        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

        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

        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)

        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

        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.