Chris Froome (Team Sky) installed himself as favourite for the Tour de France title having won the eight-stage Critérium du Dauphiné.
The Kenyan-born Brit finished second on the final stage behind Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale Pro Cycling), the last remaining survivor of the day’s 24-rider breakaway.
Froome finished the race 24 seconds ahead of team-mate Richie Porte in the general classification, with Daniel Moreno (Katusha) two minutes and 12 seconds adrift in third.
The 28-year-old Froome will now hope to emulate Bradley Wiggins, who won the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2012 before going on to become the first Briton to win the Tour de France.
The 2013 Tour de France starts on the island of Corsica on Sunday June 30.