Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Sports

First South African rider earns yellow jersey

MONTPELLIER, France — Stage 6 of the 100th Tour de France was a textbook demonstration of teamwork.

An Australian deliberately handed over the race lead to help a South African teammate and friend become the first rider from that country to wear the famed yellow jersey.

And Andre Greipel, who won the stage with a fierce finishing sprint, owed a debt of gratitude to teammates who plied him with drinks all afternoon, ferrying bottles back and forth from cars at the back of the race so he didn't melt in the scorching sun.

"Room service," the big German said light-heartedly.

As the new leader of cycling's showcase race, Daryl Impey can look forward to some first-class treatment, too. Being the first South African to wear the yellow jersey "will definitely change my life," he said.

Impey worked for teammate Simon Gerrans earlier at the Tour, helping him win Stage 3 and riding hard in the time trial Orica won as a team in Stage 4. Gerrans figured it was time for payback. Thursday he rode in five seconds behind Impey in Montpellier. That was enough for the race lead to pass from one to the other because they started the day with the same overall time, with Gerrans in first place and Impey second.

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