Team Sky's Chris Froome will take a 51-second lead into tomorrow's final day of the Criterium du Dauphine after a superbly measured performance on stage seven.
Spain's Samuel Sanchez sprinted clear of Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang in the last 200 metres to take the stage victory, with Froome's team-mate Richie Porte jumping away from the yellow-jersey group to claim third.
Froome finished seventh on the 187.5-kilometre stage, but close enough to Porte to lose just one second to the Australian, who remains second in the general classification.
Australian Michael Rogers (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) is one minute 37 seconds behind Froome in third.
Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) attacked on the penultimate climb of the Col du Noyer, holding a slender advantage over the top before being joined by Fuglsang (Astana) on the descent.
Nine riders gave chase ahead of the final rise to the finish but then seemed content to hold station and allow Sanchez and Fuglsang to battle for the victory.
The stage saw the riders tackle five categorised climbs, including an early ascent of the infamous Alpe d'Huez, which will be climbed twice in one day on the Tour de France this summer.
The race concludes on Sunday with a 155.5km stage from Sisteron to Risoul.