Max Stedman ignited his Tour Alsace charge with a brilliant third place on stage one into Sélestat on Thursday.
And with it the Canyon Eisberg climber soared to second spot on general classification and clinched the under-23 jersey.
He is now 1min 28sec ahead of the main bunch with back-to-back summit finishes in the next two days.
Stedman, 22, was part of an 11-man breakaway which comfortably held off the peloton in the 145.5km dash from Champ de Feu.
David van der Poel, the older brother of Dutch national road race and former world cyclocross champion Mathieu, sprinted to victory.
The Corendon-Circus rider held off Matthew Teggart, of Team Wiggins, at the line as Stedman outpaced the remainder of the front group to complete the podium places.
Van der Poel has now assumed pole position in the general classifcation and will wear the leaders’ jersey on Friday’s second road stage.
Stedman, meanwhile, is just nine seconds adrift in second position. He also tops the under-23 classification.
The race now heads for the mountains, where Stedman – in the colours of Great Britain – will relish his chance to shine.
Friday’s stage covers 143.1km and finishes atop La Planche des Belle Filles, where Chris Froome celebrated Tour de France success in 2012 as team-mate Bradley Wiggins rode into the yellow jersey.
Click here for the full standings, where Stedman holds an advantage of more than 90 seconds over the majority of the peloton.