Primoz Roglic gave a powerful statement of his ambitions for Tour de France glory as he claimed victory in an intriguing stage four.
A host of the general classification contenders found themselves in the mix during a tactical, circumspect climb up Orcieres-Merlette.
Guillaume Martin attacked but Roglic and Egan Bernal got across him as this year's first mountain-top finish bubbled over on Tuesday.
Reigning champion Bernal was unable to hold the wheel of Roglic, who led home a Slovenian one-two ahead of Tadej Pogacar.
Julian Alaphilippe remains in the yellow jersey after coming home in fifth, retaining his four-second lead over Adam Yates, with Roglic up to third overall.
The stage victor should be buoyed by the supreme display from his Jumbo-Visma team, who offered far more effective protection than Team Ineos or Deceuninck-Quick-Step did for Bernal or Alaphilippe respectively.
There was a lucky escape for Tiesj Benoot of Team Sunweb, who was part of a breakaway group that hit the front early on.
With 25 kilometres to go, the Belgian rider skidded and crashed, flinging himself over the barriers. Fortunately, Benoot was able to continue and swiftly re-joined the peloton on a replacement bike.
ROGLIC PUTS DAUPHINE ORDEAL BEHIND HIM
Roglic believes his rivals can be in now doubt over his current form, a little over two weeks since a crash forced him out of the Criterium du Dauphine when leading. "I can race and every day, I feel a little better," he said. "It's nice to ride a bike again. I already proved on the second stage that I'm ready. We need to continued doing a good job with the whole team."
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 4:07:47
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)
3. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)
4. Nairo Quintana (Team Arkea-Samsic)
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 18:07:04
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:04
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:07
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 83
2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 83
3. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 80
King of the Mountains
1. Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) 21
2. Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling Team) 12
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 10
The sprinters will be back to the forefront on stage five, with a largely downhill 183km from Gap to Privas in store on Wednesday. However, a gradual climb in the closing stages supplies a sting in the tail.