Impey pips Benoot to clinch first win
Daryl Impey edged a thrilling duel with Tiesj Benoot to claim his first Tour de France victory while Julian Alaphilippe retained his overall lead after stage nine's run from Saint-Etienne to Brioude.
Mitchelton-Scott rider Impey summoned a late burst of energy to surge past Nicolas Roche before getting the better of a sprint finish tussle with Benoot.
No South African had won a tour stage since Robert Hunter in 2007, but Impey joined a 15-man breakaway and then feigned fatigue on the final climb before clinching a dramatic win.
Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida), Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) followed Impey and Benoot (Lotto Soudal) over the line, while Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) came home in 35th.
Alaphilippe leads Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) in the General Classification standings going into stage 10 on Monday.
On Bastille Day, the early stages of the race saw Alessandro De Marchi involved in a crash that left him bleeding from the head after just 10 kilometres.
The 33-year-old was taken to hospital for treatment on deep facial lacerations and his team, CCC, tweeted to confirm he was fully conscious as the race continued in his absence.
After the peloton opened up a time gap of over 10 minutes, Simon Clarke and Garcia Cortina mounted attacks but it was Lukas Postlberger who emerged as the lone leader with 42km remaining.
Postlberger was not caught until the last categorised climb of the stage, as Roche and Benoot launched attacks and the leading group thinned down to seven riders.
Impey's smart race management paid off in the final 7km as he brushed Roche aside before tussling with Benoot in a tense finish.
Benoot finally faltered and Impey held his nerve.
1. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) 04:03:12
2. Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) - same time
3. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida) +0:10
4. Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) "
5. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) "
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 38:37:36
2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +0:23
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0.53
1. Peter Sagan (BORA-Hansgrohe) 204
2. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) 144
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) 129
King of the Mountains
1. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) 43
2. Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) 37
3. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 30
While not quite as fiercely steep as the Macon to Saint-Etienne course, Stage 10 runs from Saint-Four to Albi along a challenging 217.5km route that features three category three climbs.