Defending champion Bradley Wiggins retained his lead after the second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.
The 32-year-old Briton finished ninth in a trailing pack, all with a time of four hours two minutes 38 seconds.
That ensured the Team Sky rider an overall lead of one second over Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and Ukraine's Andrej Grivko.
Daniel Moreno Fernandez prevailed on an uphill finish to win the 99-mile stage from Lamastre to Saint-Felicien.
"Once again the team were incredible," Wiggins told the
official Team Sky website.
"They were fantastic throughout the day and they made my job a lot easier. It was all about respecting the jersey by defending it and also staying safe.
"It was also a hectic finish so it's good to have got through it all OK and that's another day down."
Spaniard Moreno finished just ahead of French pair Julien Simon and Tony Gallopin after the race through the Ardeche hills.
Wednesday's third stage takes place over 103 miles from Givors to La Clayette.
The race finishes on Sunday in Chatel.