Great Britain's Ed Clancy was second with two events remaining as the Olympic team pursuit champion aimed for individual glory on day four of the omnium competition at the London 2012 velodrome.
Clancy was fourth overnight after three events, but the second and final day of the six-discipline event featured two events against the clock in which he thrives.
The 2010 world champion, twice an Olympic team pursuit gold medallist, clocked four minutes 20.853 seconds in the four-kilometre pursuit to place second in the event and move up to second overall.
Denmark's Lasse Hansen finished in 4mins 20.674secs to win the discipline, with world champion Glenn O'Shea of Australia third in 4:24.811 to take the overall lead.
France's Bryan Coquard, who led overnight, finished in 4:30.780 and Italy's Elia Viviani, who was second after three events, clocked 4:30.780.
New Zealand's Shane Archbold, who was seventh overnight, withdrew from the pursuit after 2km after suffering a puncture and was granted a restart. Archbold finished in 4:26.581 to place sixth and remain seventh overall.
With the 15km scratch race and one-kilometre time-trial to come in the day's only medal event at the velodrome, O'Shea led on 17 points, with Clancy two points behind.
Hansen was third, Viviani fourth on 20 points and Coquard fifth on 22 points.