Chris Froome moved four seconds behind leader Alberto Contador after stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine.
Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen won the 176km stage from Tain-l'Hermitage to Belley.
Team Sky's Froome, 31, gained nine seconds on Contador after the Spaniard was caught on the wrong side of a split in the peloton caused by a late crash.
The Briton leapfrogged Richie Porte into second, with three days of the race remaining.
Froome won the Criterium du Dauphine last year and will attempt to defend his Tour de France title from 2 July, ahead of his bid for Olympic gold in the road race in Rio in August.
Criterium du Dauphine stage four result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway / Dimension Data) 4:39:26"
2. Julian Alaphilippe (France / Etixx - Quick-Step) ST
3. Nacer Bouhanni (France / Cofidis)
4. Jens Debusschere (Belgium / Lotto)
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium / BMC Racing)
6. Samuel Dumoulin (France / AG2R)
7. Jens Keukeleire (Belgium / Orica)
8. John Degenkolb (Germany / Giant)
9. Sam Bennett (Ireland / BORA)
10. Luka Pibernik (Slovenia / Lampre)
1. Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff) 17:52:45"
2. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) +4"
3. Richie Porte (Australia / BMC Racing) +6"
4. Julian Alaphilippe (France / Etixx - Quick-Step) +9"
5. Daniel Martin (Ireland / Etixx - Quick-Step) +12"
6. Jesus Herrada (Spain / Movistar) +27"
7. Adam Yates (Britain / Orica) +31"
8. Diego Rosa (Italy / Astana) +35"
9. Daniel Navarro (Spain / Cofidis) +43"
10. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands / Trek)+48"