Dan McLay was Great Britain’s highest finisher in seventh as the Tour de l’Avenir started on Saturday evening with the time trial prologue.
McLay, 22, stopped the clock in five minutes and 51 seconds on a four-and-a-half kilometre course in Saint-Flour, six seconds back from Australian winner Campbell Flakemore.
Tao Geoghegan Hart was the next Briton home in 27th place, his time six minutes.
Scott Davies (74th), Dan Pearson (83rd), Jake Kelly (95th) and Owain Doull (122nd) completed the British representation.
Welshman Doull, however, was forced to recover from a crash as heavy rain in the latter stages of the time trial made for challenging conditions for the final riders out on the course.
“Not an ideal start. The heavens opened for the last 20 riders in the prologue tonight and the course was like an ice rink,” Doull tweeted.
The eight-day stage race, known as the Tour of the Future, is the final event in the UCI Under 23 Nations’ Cup.
Sunday’s stage one travels 144.6km from Saint-Flour to Brioude with five categorised climbs in the opening 63km.