Mark Renshaw took over the Tour of Britain's yellow jersey after edging the sprint finish in stage two.
The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider timed his charge for the line to perfection as he came out of Ben Swift's slipstream in the closing metres to take his first win for the Belgian team.
Monday's 200.8kilometre stage, which included three category two climbs, from Knowsley to Llandudno in north Wales saw Marcel Kittel (Garmin-Sharp) relinquish the lead.
After reeling in the breakaway group at the summit of the day's final climb, the sprinters began to position themselves for the finish, with Bradley Wiggins putting Team Sky colleague Swift in an excellent position.
However, he was unable to hold off the threat of Renshaw as the Australian moved past him to take victory and the overall lead.
With six stages remaining, Renshaw has a four-second advantage over Swift and Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani), but could struggle to hold onto it on stage three with four tough climbs facing the peloton.
After a crash in the final stages on Sunday, Renshaw's team-mate Mark Cavendish took a back seat to recover, while Team Sky's Ian Stannard did not start having been forced to withdraw with a broken wrist.
Ian Bibby (Madison-Genesis), Christopher Lawless (Great Britain), Lasse Hansen (Garmin-Sharp) and Robert Partridge (Giordana Racing) made the opening break and extended their lead on the peloton to over three minutes after the first sprint of the day.
Alex Dowsett (Movistar) took the first points before Bibby and Hansen claimed the final two sprint victories, although Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) remains in the points jersey after his performance on stage one.
Mark McNally (AN Post Chain Reaction) retains the king of mountains jersey after claiming more climbing points, but it was Renshaw who came in to his own in the closing stages.
He stayed on the wheel of Swift and, with the finish line in sight, edged past to take the win ahead of the Sky man, Sam Bennett (Team NetApp-Endura) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp).
Stage three of the race will see the riders go travel 179.9km from Newtown to the summit of The Tumble, a category one climb, near Abergavenny.