Bradley Wiggins took the yellow jersey at the Criterium du Dauphine on Monday, narrowly ahead of stage one winner Cadel Evans.
The Team Sky rider had started the day in second place after a strong showing in Sunday's prologue and though he was a little off the pace in the 187-kilometre stage to Saint-Vallier, his performance was enough to succeed Luke Durbridge in the race lead.
Evans, of BMC Racing, held off Saur-Sojasun's Jerome Coppel and Andrey Kashechkin of Astana in the final few metres to win Monday's stage, four seconds clear of a peloton led home by Nacer Bouhanni.
Wiggins' group were a further 15 seconds back, but his total time for the two days was nonetheless a second quicker than that of Australian Evans.
Astana's Andriy Grivko lies third, while Edvald Boasson Hagen makes it two Team Sky riders in the top 10 in 10th spot.Wiggins told teamsky.com: "It's hard to look too much into the results today. "I knew Cadel would be good as the Tour de France is coming up and he's always good at the Tour. There's no surprise there.
"There's still a long way to the Tour. That's the race most guys are preparing for. I'm just trying to concentrate on my own race and I stayed safe today in the front and felt good.
"It's hard not to compete in this race. I'd rather come to the bike race and go flat out. If I wasn't doing that I'd have to go training."