Belleville (France) (AFP) - South African Daryl Impey took the leader's yellow jersey off crash-victim Michal Kwiatkowski as Germany's Pascal Ackermann of the Bora team 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 to take yellow.
"I didn't know Kwiatkowski had fallen until after the race," said Impey, who was already looking ahead to Wednesday's 35km team time-trial.
"Sky are very strong, but so are we," said Impey of Wednesday's favourites.
"And if I can hold on to the yellow jersey, it will also mean Adam Yates is well placed, and he's a world class climber," said Impey, who suggested Adam was as good as his twin brother Simon who wore the Giro d'Italia pink jersey for 13 days in May.
The third stage is almost entirely flat between Pont-de-Vaux and Louhans-Châteaurenaud, and is expected to blow the standings apart.
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.