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Impey First South African to Wear Yellow

8
Jul

Despite a frustrating first week for Peter Sagan (Cannondale) he managed to claim his first stage win of the 100th edition of the Tour de France during the 205.5km seventh stage from Montpellier to Albi on Friday. Germany’s John Degenkolb (Argos) and Italian Daniele Bannati (Saxo) finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

South Africa’s Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge), managed to retain his overall lead after finishing 12th. He has now a lead of 3 seconds ahead of Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen and former wearer of the yellow jersey Simon Gerrans, just 5 seconds behind in 3rd.

“The team did an incredible job and I want to thank them all,” Sagan said. “I hope today’s win gives answers to all fans who criticized me and the team on the internet. Now the pressure is off.”

Both Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel, missed out on the action after being dropped by the peloton due to the high pace on the second climb of the day. They’ve joined a large group of delayed riders which caused them to miss the cut-off limit. They eventually came over the finish line nearly 15 minutes in arrears.

Matthew White confirmed on Team Orica-GreenEdge website: “We’re definitely resigned to give the yellow jersey away tomorrow. It’s a big mountain stage; a stage for the general classifications guys. We haven’t got much of a gap to play with and the terrain doesn’t suit us. Tomorrow will be for guys like Chris Froome (Sky). Cadel Evans (BMC) and Alberto Contador (Saxo) not Gerro, Impey or Albasini.”

“Impey will go down fighting,” said White. “I wouldn’t expect anything less of him. He’ll hang on as long as he can to the front group.”

Impey had the following to say on Twitter: “Happy to keep yellow for another day! Super team effort again and getting ready for a tough day tomorrow. Thanks for all your messages of support.”

Impey became the first South African cyclist on Thursday to lead the Tour de France in the history of this event.

Stage 9 from Castres to Ax 3 Domaines a distance of 194km will be one for the climbers. With two difficult climbs before the finish.

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