Bradley Wiggins claimed a timely victory on Sunday in the 4.2km prologue of the Dauphine Libere race.
Wiggins completed his first Tour de France in 2006
Britain's Olympic gold medalist is hoping to secure a place in his Cofidis team for the Tour de France which starts in his native London on 7 July.
And the 27-year-old boosted his hopes in Grenoble with his second major time trial win as a professional.
Wiggins beat American Levi Leipheimer by one second, Kazakh Andrey Kashechkin and American George Hincapie by two.
He believes the victory has given him an important confidence boost prior to the Tour de France prologue.
"Before this year I couldn't say I was a favourite for London, I hadn't got the results on the road for that, but now I am one of them," he said.
"I can be confident of at least making the top five or perhaps even the top three.
"If I thought I was just going to do an average ride in London, then I'd prefer not to race and go on holiday. But I think maybe I'm in the best form of my life, and after this win I can go into the Tour feeling more relaxed.
"Cofidis have been good, not putting too much pressure on me and letting me train for these events as I want. This is the result."
He completed the course in four minutes and 50 seconds, six seconds better than Scot David Millar, one of the early starters hampered by a violent storm.
Wiggins will wear the race leader's jersey during Monday's 219km stage one from Grenoble to Roanne, which is expected to favour the sprinters.
The eight-day Dauphine Libere finishes next Sunday, 17 June.
Wiggins also won the opening stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk race last month.