Vincenzo Nibali (pictured) put himself in pole position to become the first Italian to win the Criterium du Dauphine after he claimed the overall lead at the end of a challenging sixth stage, while Chris Froome's limitations were exposed.
Defending Tour de France champion Nibali, who like other top guns is using the Criterium du Dauphine to warm up for the July 4-26 extravaganza, took second place in the sixth stage behind former world champion Rui Costa of Portugal.
He snatched the yellow jersey from American Tejay van Garderen and now leads Costa by 29 seconds.
Froome, the 2013 Tour de France champion, missed the day's winning breakaway and slumped to seventh overall. The Team Sky rider could not follow fellow Briton Simon Yates and Ireland's Dan Martin in the finale, three weeks ahead of the Tour.