South Africa’s Daryl Impey has won the ninth stage of the Tour de France, beating Belgian rider Tiesj Benoot in a two-man sprint.
The Mitchelton Scott rider claimed the honours on a day when the top contenders for the overall race victory were happy to take it easy far behind on the hilly trek through the Massif Central mountains.
Impey pointed to the South African flag printed on his jersey as he crossed the line in the agricultural town of Brioude, having beaten Belgian rider Tiesj Benoot in a two-man sprint.
They were part of a 14-man group that rode away shortly after the stage start in the mining town of Saint-Etienne.
Because none of the breakaway riders were contenders for the Tour title in Paris on July 28, race leader Julian Alaphilippe and other top riders allowed them to scoot off ahead.
The stage victory was Impey’s first in seven Tours. He also held the race lead for two days at the Tour of 2013.