Impey wins hilly 1st stage at Criterium du Dauphine race

SAINT-JUST-SAINT-RAMBERT, France (AP) South African rider Daryl Impey won the hilly first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Monday, despite feeling unwell beforehand.

After completing the 179-kilometer (111-mile) trek from Valence to Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert in a little less than 4 1/2 hours, Impey expressed surprise at his performance.

”Since I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel good. Even in the (team) meeting I said I was not well,” said Impey, without giving more details. ”I surprised myself. To win at the Dauphine is great. It’s a big race.”

French rider Julian Alaphilippe finished in second place, and Pascal Ackermann of Germany in third.

Impey’s stage win moved him up to second place overall, two seconds behind Polish cyclist Michal Kwiatkowski, the winner of Sunday’s opening prologue.

The second stage on Tuesday, 181 kilometers (112 miles) from Montbrison to Belleville, is another hilly route. The week-long stage race is a warmup for the Tour de France, which begins next month.

Impey held the Tour’s yellow jersey for two stages in 2013. This year’s Tour is from July 7-29.