Peter Kennaugh conceded the overall lead at the Criterium du Dauphine as BMC Racing won the team time-trial to send Rohan Dennis into the yellow jersey.
Manxman Kennaugh (Team Sky) held a two-second advantage after the opening two stages, with Dennis 12 seconds adrift, entering the 24.5-kilometres team test against the clock from Roanne to Montagny.
BMC Racing, the world team time-trial champions, won the stage in 29 minutes 58 seconds.
They were the only squad to dip beneath 30 minutes as Astana finished four seconds behind in second place.
Sky 6eme en 30:33:21 / 6th in 30:33:21 https://t.co/vXin8MHmGb
— Critérium Dauphiné (@dauphine) June 9, 2015
Team Sky, who were the final team to take to the course due to Kennaugh leading overall, finished in 30mins 33secs, 35secs behind in sixth.
American Tejay van Garderen is second, level on time with Dennis, while Kennaugh is now 23 seconds behind in 19th place.
He remains the highest-placed Briton, with Yates twins Simon and Adam, who ride for Orica-GreenEdge close behind him.
Wednesday’s fourth stage of the traditional Tour de France warm-up, which finishes on Sunday, is the 228km route from Anneyron Porte de DromArdeche to Sisteron, which features three categorised climbs.
Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni, riding for Cofidis, turned in an explosive burst of power as he sprinted to victory in the second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Monday following a 173km ride from Le Bourget-du-Lac to Villars-les-Dombes.
British 25-year-old Peter Kennaugh, who won the opening stage, retains the leader's jersey after finishing with the main pack.
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Another Frenchman Samuel Dumoulin was second with Italian Sacha Modolo, a winner of two stages on the recent Giro d'Italia, claiming the final place on the podium.
"Im really happy for the Cofidis team, it was a great win and I'm very happy," said Bouhanni.
"The conditions were ideal, I really counted on my teammates who did a great job and I'm really super happy and it's a great relief." he added.
Kennaugh, who rides for the Sky team, led by former Tour de France champion Chris Froome, maintains a two second lead in the overall standings over Modolo and Bouhanni on a day suited for a sprint finish.
Defending Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and Froome the 2013 winner, two of the main contenders for the overall victory, finished in the main bunch and are well positioned behind Kennaugh.
A three-man escape formed during the stage with Frenchmen Arnaud Courteille and Perrig Quemeneur as well as Daniel Teklehaimanot of Eritrea building up a lead of seven minutes before eventually being reeled in by the peloton with 3km to race.
In a bunch sprint for the line, Bouhanni negotiated his way through the pack of riders bidding for victory and sprinted clear for a well-deserved win.
The 24-year-old Bouhanni shot to fame in 2014 when he won three stages on the Giro d'Italia and won the points jersey.
Tuesday features a team time-trial over 24.5km between Roanne and Montagny with the race set to finish on Sunday.
Sir Bradley Wiggins gave everything he had to raise the standard of a “torturous” and “relentless” UCI Hour Record but the Beamonesque mark he targeted was beyond even him.
Tickets sold out in seven minutes to watch Wiggins ride around in circles for 60 minutes, targeting fellow Briton Alex Dowsett’s record of 52.937-kilometres.
And the 2012 Tour de France champion, four-time Olympic gold medallist and world time-trial champion delivered in 54.526km.
He had the strength to raise his bike above his head in celebration.
“I’ve got to be happy with that. I couldn’t have done much more,” Wiggins said. “That’s raised the bar a fair bit to what the existing record was. For sure it will deter people or make them think twice about it. It’s the first real big marker now.”
Wiggins had set himself a target of over 55km (220 laps) and a record which would last a generation, thus bearing comparison with Bob Beamon’s long jump world record from 1968 which lasted almost 23 years.
— Wiggins (@OfficialWIGGINS) June 7, 2015
He did everything in his power, even shaving his beard, to perform, but the conditions at the Lee Valley VeloPark – formerly known as the Olympic Velodrome – were not conducive to such a distance and Dowsett may be among those
encouraged to try again.
Wiggins recorded the same distance to that achieved on Wednesday in a full dress rehearsal at lower – and therefore more favourable – pressure.
“I couldn’t have done any more today with the conditions. It was 1030 (bar) pressure,” Wiggins added. “I keep banging on about pressure, but it was probably the worst weekend to have done it in the last couple of months. That was about as far as I was going to go under those conditions today.
“Perhaps not as far as I maybe have dreamed or hoped had the conditions been different, but (I’m) satisfied nonetheless.”
For the 35-year-old Wiggins it was a one-time opportunity, with the Rio Olympics next summer likely to be his swansong.
“I won’t go for it again,” he added. Asked how he will celebrate, Wiggins said: “By standing up for a start. Struggling to sit down at the moment.”