Impey makes SA proud

The cyclist hopes his win would improve cycling in South Africa.

South Africa's Daryl Impey celebrates his yellow jersey of overall leader on the podium at the end of the 176.5 km sixth stage of the 100th edition of the Tour de France cycling race on 4 July 2013. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Daryl Impey on Thursday became the first African to wear the yellow jersey while Germany's Andre Greipel timed his final burst to perfection to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France.

Greipel, of the Lotto-Belisol team, beat Slovakian Peter Sagan and fellow German Marcel Kittel at the end of a 176.5km ride from Aix-en-Provence.

Briton Mark Cavendish came home fourth after a crash with some 30 km left.

Impey said it was a momentous day for the sport in South Africa.

He described putting on the yellow jersey as "amazing," adding that he was proud of himself and it was a great day for his team.

"Support on social networks has been massive and amazing."

Talk Radio 702's John Webb spoke to Daryl Impey, his brother Grant and Supersport cycling commentator Andrew McClain.

There was nothing but praise from Grant and McClain, saying how proud they both were of Impey.

Grant said, "The family's elated and what you've done for South Africa is great."

Impey responded that the support from his family helped him and meant a lot to him.

"The jersey is not only for me but for everyone."

Impey added the team's priority is to keep the jersey, "it will be challenging because it's a slump circuit but we can still keep it [yellow jersey]."

McClain said Impey is a good ambassador South African sport.

"I never thought in my lifetime I'd see a South African or an African with a yellow jersey, hats off to Daryl."

The cyclist added he hopes his win would improve cycling in South Africa.

At the same time, Impey leads Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway (Team Sky) by three seconds in the overall standings with Australian Simon Gerrans (Orica) a further two seconds back.

Sagan (Cannondale) retained the green jersey for the points classification with 159 points, ahead of Greipel (130) and Cavendish (119).

Stage seven will take the peloton 205.5km from Montpellier to Albi on Friday, with the mountains looming over the weekend when the favourites will be put to the test for the first time.

Last year was Impey's first year in the Tour de France.

A behind the scenes video into Impey winning the yellow jersey:

(Footage courtesy of ORICA GreenEDGE)