Max Stedman remains within striking distance of the Tour Alsace lead after digging deep in a difficult finale to the second stage on Friday.
The 22-year-old climber was distanced halfway up the Planche des Belle Filles as Geoffrey Bouchard, of Roanne CR4C, soared to a solo victory.
Florian Stork, of Sunweb’s development team, rode into the leader’s jersey as stage one winner David van der Poel was dropped prior to the final climb.
Meanwhile Stedman, who had started the day in the young rider’s jersey and second in general classification, crossed the line 1min 47sec down in 19th.
However, the Canyon Eisberg man remains just nine seconds off the overall lead in fourth spot ahead of the Queen stage on Saturday.
Stedman, who is making his debut for Great Britain under-23s in the UCI 2.2 contest, claimed a superb third place from an 11-man breakaway on stage one.
He reckons he paid for those efforts on the Planche des Belle Filles summit finish, though. The University of Exeter graduate tweeted:
“Disgustingly hard finish today – paid for yesterday. Fourth on GC but still only nine-second gap, so all to play for on the Queen stage.
“Guys did an awesome job keeping me out of the wind and Adam Hartley put in a mega ride for 11th on the stage.”
While Hartley did brilliantly to stick with the main contenders in the finale, Matthew Bostock had earlier impressed in the day’s breakaway.
Sunweb’s Marc Hirschi and Brandon McNulty, of the USA under-23 squad, were second and third to Bouchard, respectively.
Stork holds a one-second advantage over Bouchard in the general classification, with former Team Raleigh rider Adria Moreno third at eight seconds.
Then comes Stedman, who also trails Stork in the young rider standings now. Hartley is up to 16th place overall at 1.19.
Saturday’s third road stage also boasts a summit finish – on the Lac Blanc ascent of the Col du Calvaire.
A total of five categorised climbs are tackled on the 165.3km push from Ribeauville to Lac Blanc, which begins at 11.30am.
Click here to follow live updates from the stage. For full results from the race so far, follow this link to touralsace.fr