Christophe Laporte pipped Rune Herregodts on the line to win the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday.
Intermarche-Circus-Wanty’s Herregodts had been part of an early breakaway but finished in third place with Matteo Trentin in second.
With less than a month to go until the Tour de France, last year’s champion Jonas Vingegaard crossed the line just behind team-mate Laporte.
Former Tour champion Egan Bernal came through unscathed too, as he continues his comeback from serious injuries suffered in a training crash in January 2022.
“I just want to finish this race and I would like to know where I’m am, I’ve been racing in different races but not like the Dauphine,” Bernal told reporters.
“The plan afterwards depends on how this race goes, I’m not sure how I am. When you have so many accidents and bad luck you need to be strong mentally.”
Laporte takes the overall leader’s yellow jersey thanks to a 10-second win bonus before Monday’s second stage, a 167.5km hilly ride eastwards from Brassac-les-Mines to La Chaise-Dieu.