Simon Spilak won stage five of the Criterium du Dauphine as Britain's Chris Froome retained the overall lead.
Team Sky's Froome, the 2013 Tour de France winner, is still 12 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador and Wilco Kelderman in the standings.
Spilak pulled away on the ascent of Cote de Laffrey, the final climb.
The Slovenian won the 189.5km race to La Mure by 14 seconds from Kelderman and Britain's Adam Yates, who finished third, and remains ninth overall.
Behind those battling for the stage win, Contador attacked on the descent of Col de la Morte to build a lead of 57 seconds over Froome, 23km from the finish.
But Sky riders Richie Porte and Mikel Nieve led the pack on the Col de Laffrey to catch the Spaniard and stop him from gaining any time.
"Sometimes, days don't look so hard on paper and turn out to be very hard," said Froome. "That's what happened today when Contador went up the road and put us under pressure.
"But I asked my team-mates to stay calm. They have done such a massive job."
Among the riders who dropped out on Thursday were Jerome Pineau of France, who suffered a hand injury after crashing out at the 14km mark.
Friday's stage is a 178.5km trek from Grenoble to Poisy featuring three minor climbs. The race ends on Sunday.
Stage five result:
1. Simon Spilak (Slo/Katusha) 4:51:24"
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Belkin) +14 secs
3. Adam Yates (GB/Orica GreenEdge)
4. Daryl Impey (SA/Orica GreenEdge) +17 secs
5. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R)
6. Daniel Moreno (Spa/Katusha)
7. Tanel Kangert (Est/Astana)
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Cannondale)
9. Arthur Vichot (Fra/FDJ.fr)
10. Leopold Koenig (Cze/NetApp)
Overall standings after stage five of eight
1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) 19:01:00"
2. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff - Saxo) +12 secs
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Belkin)
4. Andrew Talansky (US/Garmin) +33 secs
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel/Lotto) +35 secs
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita /Astana) +50 secs
7. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa/Trek) +1:22"
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana)
9. Adam Yates (GB/Orica GreenEdge) +1:24"
10. Tanel Kangert (Est/Astana) +1:35"