Chris Froome tried to send a message to his Tour de France rivals with a late burst of speed during today's second stage to Bastia.
Although the Team Sky man later dropped back to finish in the peloton, his turn of pace on the final climb 10 kilometres from the line to chase down then leader Cyril Gautier was notable for the apparent ease with which he left everyone else behind.
"With that little climb about 10km from the finish - I knew the descent was tricky and dangerous," Froome said.
"I was on the front with Richie and I thought it might be a good time, just to push on a little bit, get ahead and take the descent at my own pace and stay out of trouble.
"It's always good to keep people on their toes."
Although the yellow jersey passed from Marcel Kittel to Belgian Jans Bakelants of Radioshack Leopard, the general classification battle is yet to really begin with all of the contenders timed at one second off the pace.
"The main objective for us was to stay out of trouble today, stay at the front, and not lose any time to the main contenders," Froome added.
"Eddie [Boasson Hagen] was there at the end and was given the freedom to have a go at the sprint, and he ended up with fifth.
"All-in-all it was a good stage for us having kept our places on the GC and allowing Eddie to give it a go."
Once an early breakaway featuring Ruben Perez (Euskaltel Euskadi), David Veilleux (Europcar), Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) and Lars Boom (Belkin) had been caught - with Kadri the last to buckle - Europcar's Pierre Rolland briefly attacked, but Team Sky remained steady and continued to set the pace at the front of the peloton.
Vasili Kiryenka led the Sky train over the summit before Richie Porte set up Froome for his attack in Ajaccio. Not everyone was present, however.
Geraint Thomas - taken to hospital for X-rays after a crash yesterday - and Tour debutant Ian Stannard were both in the grupetto, which eventually crossed the line more than 17 minutes down.
Thomas admitted he had struggled with the impact of his spectacular crash yesterday.
"I remember flipping straight over and landing straight on my back," he said.
"I didn't slide or anything so it was a difficult fall. It wasn't like I was in a bad position. I didn't think it was really bad as in broken bones. But it took a while to get up.
"It's not cut, so I can kind of lie on it. It just hurts if you move or roll on to your side. It's mainly [hurting] when you are bending or pushing it - like riding your bike.
"It felt like an eternity I was out there for."
That group also included Kittel in the yellow jersey as well as Mark Cavendish, who had hoped to be in contention for any sprint finish today but found himself unable to keep up with the pace during the tough climbs that made this stage unusual so early in a Tour.
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