Great Britain’s Dan McLay claimed an impressive fourth place on stage one of the Tour de l‘Avenir on Sunday to remain in the overall top ten.
McLay, Britain’s best-placed rider in Saturday’s prologue in seventh, came home at the front of the peloton after the 144.6km from Saint-Flour to Brioude
Fellow Briton Owain Doull was eighth, also crossing the line in the bunch two minutes and 21 seconds behind winner Kristoffer Skjerping.
Tao Geoghegan Hart (52nd), Daniel Pearson (95th), Scott Davies (96th) came home in the same time with Jake Kelly three minutes and 27 seconds back in 101st.
Twenty-two-year-old McLay, who suffered a puncture earlier in the stage, now sits in tenth in the general classification, two minutes and 19 seconds behind Danish race leader Asbjorn Kragh Andersen.
Norway’s Skjerping won the stage from a breakaway of three which spent the entire day clear of the bunch. Dutch rider Sjoerd Van Ginneken was second with Kragh Andersen third.
The trio attacked four kilometres in and built a lead of over seven minutes over five categorised climbs within 63km - the Cote de le Sales, Cote de Fridefont, Cote de Faverolles, Cote de Beauregard and Col du Mont Mouchet.
And although the gap came down to under four minutes, the finish was contested between the three.
Monday’s stage three sees three more categorised climbs over 142.6km from Brioude to Saint-Galmier.