The Tour de France winner won the second stage of the day - a 6.5km time trial in Porto-Vecchio – by just 0.3 seconds from Team Sky's Michael Rogers after Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Schuller) had won the opening stage in a sprint finish.
Simon Geschke (Project 1t4i) is just a further second back with four riders two seconds behind in GC.
Vachon won the opening stage after an 89.5 loop around Porto-Vecchio.
About 35km from the finish a group of 46 riders broke away including all the big names.
However, it would be Vachon who would take the sprint finish ahead of Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing Team) and Clement Koretzky (La Pomme-Marseille).
The race concludes with a third and final stage on Sunday.