BRIOUDE – South African Daryl Impey added an individual stage win to his Tour de France happy memories when he prevailed at the end of a long breakaway from St Etienne on Sunday.
The Mitchelton Scott rider, who wore the race's yellow jersey for a couple of days in 2013, beat Belgian Tiesj Benoot in a two-man sprint after the duo went clear from the day's breakaway.
Slovenia's Jan Tratnik took third place, 10 seconds behind as France's Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall lead after 170.5 kilometres with the top guns enjoying an easy day on a bumpy stage nine.
Frenchman Romain Bardet, a two-time podium finisher who has already lost considerable ground in the general classification, attacked in the Cote de St Just (3.6km at 7.2%), 13km from the finish.
He was followed by Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk and Australian Richie Porte, but the trio were easily reined in by defending champion Geraint Thomas's Ineos team.