Julian Alaphilippe won the second stage of the Tour de France in a sprint to win the yellow jersey in Nice.
The French resisted Marc Hirschi to take a half wheel after leaving Briton Adam Yates behind in a final arrow for the line.
He leads Yates, who was third, by four seconds overall.
It was a fifth stage victory on the Tour for the 28-year-old, after the riders faced a second mountainous 186km stage, with two climbs above 1,500m.
The stage seemed ready for Alaphilippe to light up the race on a hilly course around Nice which made use of its strengths.
And typically, the French puncher delivered one of his killer attacks on Sunday’s final climb at Col des Quatre Chemins.
Yates and Swiss Hirschi both worked with rider Deceuninck-QuickStep to outrun the main field, before Alaphilippe claimed his first victory of 2020.
“I have always remained serious in my training despite the difficult times I have been through – I dedicate this victory to my father [who passed away in June]”Said Alaphilippe.
“I asked my team to make the race difficult.
“There weren’t many riders left on the last climb. I gave it my all – I had nothing to lose. It was scary but Adam Yates cooperated.
“I wanted to keep away until the red flame [which marks the last kilometre]. I’m a little used to the pressure. Finally, I feel good. It was the victory that I was missing. The yellow jersey is the icing on the cake. ”
Alaphilippe, who wore the yellow jersey for 14 stages in the 2019 edition of the Tour, now leads the race by four seconds ahead of Yates due to the time bonuses.
Earlier on Sunday, the peloton had safely crossed the steep slopes of Col de la Colmiane and Col de Turini, unlike Chaotic Saturday opening step.
However, it was a tough day for the sprinters, with Saturday’s yellow jersey winner Alexander Kristoff among those finishing more than 28 minutes on Alaphilippe.
Monday’s third stage sees the race cover 198 km from Nice to Sisteron.
Result of the second stage
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra / Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 4 hours 55 minutes 27 seconds
2. Marc Hirschi (Swi / Team Sunweb) at the same time
3. Adam Yates (GB / Mitchelton-Scott) + 1sec
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel / CCC Team) + 2secs
5. Sergio Higuita (Col / EF Pro Cycling) at the same time
Bauke Mollema (Ned / Trek-Segafredo)
7. Alexey Lutsenko (KazAstana Pro Team)
8. Tadej Pogacar (Slo / UAE Team Emirates)
9. Maximilian Schachmann (Allemagne / BORA-hansgrohe)
10. Alberto Bettiol (Ita / EF Pro Cycling)
General classification after the second stage
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra / Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 8 hours 41 minutes 35 seconds
2. Adam Yates (GB / Mitchelton-Scott) + 4secs
3. Marc Hirschi (Swi / Team Sunweb) + 7secs
4. Sergio Higuita (Col / EF Pro Cycling) + 17secs
5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo / UAE Team Emirates) at the same time
6. Esteban Chaves (Col / Mitchelton-Scott)
7. David Formolam (Oui / UAE Team Emirates)
8. Egan Bernal (Col / INEOS Grenadiers)
9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu / INEOS Grenadiers)
Tom Dumoulin (Ned / Jumbo-Visma)