Dylan van Baarle took over as overall leader of the Tour of Britain on Saturday as stage seven was won by Julien Vermote.
The Dutch rider finished third in the 226.5 kilometre race from Camberley to Brighton to take the yellow jersey from Alex Dowsett.
Garmin-Sharp man Van Baarle holds a 19-second lead over Michal Kwiatkowski, with Edoardo Zardini of Bardiani CSF a further six seconds adrift in third spot as Dowsett dropped back to 10th place overall - 59 seconds behind the leader.
Belgian Vermote made his move on the penultimate climb at Ditchling Beacon and never looked back, with Van Baarle and Ignatas Konovalovas left to fight it out for second place.
Konovalovas won that duel on Brighton's seafront, but Van Baarle took the initiative overall and claimed a four-second bonus for securing third.
It was a day to forget for Dowsett, who dropped back on the final category one climb as aspirations of winning the title suffered a major blow just a day after he took the yellow jersey.
"I feel really great now. After the finish I was really tired. I was full gas the whole day. The last 25km I gave everything I had with Konovalovas. We were pushing so hard," Van Baarle said
The riders now move on for two stages in London on Sunday; an individual time trial followed by 10 laps of the same 8.8km course.
Van Baarle added: "My time trial is not really bad but after this day it will be a little bit harder,
"I will do my best and then we will see what happens."