Toulouse - Colombian climbing king Nairo Quintana grabbed the yellow jersey on the third stage of the Route du Sud on Friday when he dominated the time-trial at Albi.
The Movistar team rider, who won this event in 2012 and was runner-up to Alberto Contador last year, immediately dedicated victory to his wife who was celebrating her birthday.
"I just want to tell her I love her; she's a wonderful person, who loves and takes care of me and our daughters. She is a superb woman," Quintana told reporters.
Friday's action saw two stages, with France's Brian Coquard winning the second stage over 92.4km from Saint-Pierre-de-Trivisy to Albi ahead of fellow Frenchman Stephane Pouilhies.
In the third stage - a time-trial in two parts around Albi - Quintana edge out France's Sylvain Chavanel, who is second in the overall standings, just 11 seconds behind.
Saturday's stage is 184.9km between Saint-Gaudens and Val d'Azun Couraduque and includes five climbs.
Results after the second and third stages of the Route de Sud cycling race on Friday:
Second stage: Saint-Pierre-de-Trivisy to Albi - 92.4km
Brian Coquard (FRA/Direct Energie) 2hr 11min 03sec, 2. Stphane
Pouilhies (FRA) same time, 3. Manuel Belletti (ITA) s.t., 4. Jose
Joaquin Rojas (ESP) s.t., 5. Daniel McClay (GBR) s.t., 6. Yannick
Martinez (FRA) s.t., 7. Marc Sarreau (FRA) s.t., 8. Jonaahan Lastra
Martinez (ESP) s.t., 6. Arnaud Demare (FRA) s.t., 10. Igor Bpev (RUS)
Third stage: Albi - 13.4km time-trial
Quintana Roja (COL/Movistar Team) 15min 45.03sec, 2. Sylvain Chavanel
(FRA) at 6sec, 3. Imanol Erviti Ollo (ESP) 17sec, 4. Arnaud Demarre
(FRA) 22, 5. Bryan Coquard (FRA) 22, 6. Lluis Mas Bonet (ESP) 25, 7.
Eduardo Sepulva (ARG) 29, 8. Anthony Delaplace (FRA) 30, 9. Stephane
Rossetto (FRA) 36, 10. Marc Soler (FRA) 39
Nairo Quintana Roja (COL/Movistar Team) 7hr 16min 44sec, 2. Sylvain
Chavanel (FRA) at 11sec, 5. Bryan Coquard (FRA) 11, 4. Arnaud Demarre
(FRA) 21, 3. Imanol Erviti Ollo (ESP) 22, 6. Lluis Mas Bonet (ESP) 30,
7. Eduardo Sepulva (ARG) 34, 8. Anthony Delaplace (FRA) 35, 9. Stephane
Rossetto (FRA) 41, 10. Marc Soler (ESP) 44