Britain's Bradley Wiggins moved into the overall lead in the Criterium du Dauphine with a storming display in stage three's time trial.
The Team Sky rider finished second fastest behind Germany's Tony Martin in 55 minutes and 39 seconds, despite easing up on wet roads near the finish.
Wiggins now leads Australia's Cadel Evans by one minute and 11 seconds in the general classification.
Welshman Geraint Thomas is sixth, two minutes and 25 seconds back.
Wiggins clocked the same time as Martin at the penultimate checkpoint but took no chances on the wet downhill section of the course and finished 11 seconds slower.
His time was still much faster than his rivals for the yellow jersey, with previous leader Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan now down to fourth.
Especially encouraging for Wiggins is the fact that the 42.5km course around Grenoble will be used again for the time trial in the penultimate stage of this year's Tour de France.
Wiggins said: "Today, this was really my speciality. The two mountain stages coming up at the weekend are stages on the Tour de France so they'll be a real test for me.
"My aim in this race is to get on the podium, for the moment I'm in yellow and in good condition."
Two more Team Sky riders finished in the top 10 on the day, with Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen third fastest, 43 seconds behind Martin, and Thomas seventh.
Thursday's stage sees the riders make a 173.5km trek from La Motte-Servolex to Macon.