Germany's Andre Greipel timed his final burst to perfection to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France on Thursday when South Africa's Daryl Impey became the first African to wear the yellow jersey.
Greipel, of the Lotto-Belisol team, beat Slovakian Peter Sagan and fellow German Marcel Kittel at the end of a 176.5-km ride from Aix-en-Provence.
Briton Mark Cavendish, winner of the fifth stage, came home fourth after a crash with some 30 kilometres left. Cavendish was fuming after the stage, blaming the incident on his bike.
Impey said it was a momentous day for the sport in his home country.
"It is definitely going to change things and put cycling on the map in South Africa, and hopefully people will recognise me," the 28-year-old Orica rider said.
Greipel's win was even more impressive because team mate Jurgen van den Broeck, fourth overall last year, became the first high-profile casualty when he could not start because of a knee injury he sustained in a pile-up on Wednesday.
Cavendish, of Omega Pharma Quick-Step, fell with 34 kilometres to go.
There was no team mate to drag him back into the peloton and the Briton was forced to bunny-hop over roundabouts and make his own way through the team cars.