Daryl Impey. Picture: REUTERS
Daryl Impey. Picture: REUTERS

Belleville — South African Daryl Impey took the leader’s yellow jersey off crash victim Michal Kwiatkowski as Germany’s Pascal Ackermann sprinted to victory on Tuesday’s second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.

Kwiatkowski, Sky’s Polish rider who won Sunday’s opening time trial prologue, came off his bike after lashing rain left slick patches in the final two kilometres of the 181km stage between Montbrison and Belleville, but managed to finish.

Impey, winner of Monday’s first stage and second overall ahead of this stage, rolled over the line for the Australian Mitchelton team in third behind Ackermann and Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen of Team Dimension Data to take yellow.

Impey had declared himself surprised to win stage one, but he set out on Tuesday mindful that the yellow jersey was within reach, having started the day just 2sec behind Kwiatkowski.

"I would obviously have liked to have won again today but to take the time bonus and so get the yellow jersey is a massive bonus for today," Impey said. "It was quite a tricky finale. We used all of our guys to bring the lone attacker back, so I had to surf myself in the sprint.

"I thought I was on a good wheel, but we hesitated and the other guys got the jump on us."

Wednesday’s third stage is a 35km team time-trial between Pont-de-Vaux and Louhans-Châteaurenaud and is expected to blow apart the standings.

The final four days are for the pure climbers, with a summit finish every day on some of the most fearsome climbs in the Alps.