Team Sky’s Chris Froome was helpless to respond as the rear wheel of Alberto Contador disappeared into the distance after an attack by the Tinkoff-Saxo rider reversed the top two positions of the Criterium du Dauphine.
Contador laid down a big psychological marker for this year's Tour de France, as he attacked Froome with 2km to go on the final above category climb.
Contador finished 4th while Froome settled for 7th. The defending champion later said he was hampered by the bumps and bruises caused by a crash on the 6th stage but will look for one last opportunity to turn the table on his chief rival.
"I'm obviously disappointed to lose the yellow jersey but I took a knock in the crash yesterday (Friday) and I lost a bit of energy because of it," said Froome.
“I felt a bit blocked through my thighs, especially where I landed yesterday, but I’m not going to let that get me down.
"Alberto rode a fantastic race and congratulations to him. He attacked at the most difficult part of the stage but it was a good test for all of us.
“He took the race on when it was at its hardest, and he’s got the jersey to show for it.
The 8th and final stage is a 131.5km route from Megeve to Courchevel which features three category one climbs including another summit finish, giving Froome one last chance to win the race.
“There is only eight seconds to make up on the hill-top finish tomorrow and the big thing for me will be to see how my legs are, and how my body is feeling. It’s never over until it’s over.”
Cycling Central will stream all stages of the 8-15 June Critérium du Dauphiné LIVE.