Belgian Jan Bakelants, a last-minute inclusion in the RadioShack-Leopard Tour de France roster, rode his luck to win the second stage by one second and take the overall leader's yellow jersey.
Bakelants powered away from a six-man late breakaway group with just over one kilometre to go on the 156-km hilly ride from Bastia and crossed the line with the bunch breathing down his neck.
Slovakian Peter Sagan finished second and Polish champion Michal Kwiatowski took third place. "It's the best day of my cycling career," said Bakelants. "It's hard to believe after all the problems I had this year and the previous years."
It was the first professional win for the 27-year-old Bakelants. "This year I had knee surgery and on my comeback at the Tour de Romandie (in April) I suffered from a knee inflammation," Bakelants said.
After a chaotic opening day on Saturday, the peloton had a relatively quiet day in Corsica.
There was some excitement as pre-race favourite Chris Froome attacked near the top of the brutal one-kilometre climb to the Cote du Salario, some 12 km from the finish.
The Briton, however, was caught and finished in the peloton with Alberto Contador who looked fine after taking a tumble on Saturday. German Tony Martin, who started the stage despite suffering concussion, a deep wound to his elbow and grazes in Saturday's mass crash, finished 17:35 off the pace with several sprint specialists including Mark Cavendish.