The BMC Racing rider was rewarded for his aggression with nine bonus seconds, courtesy of three intermediate sprint wins, and the lead in the points classification. He now sits second overall with stage winner Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) top due to the 10 bonus seconds awarded for the victory.
With stage 4 likely to decide the overall title, Dillier's capabilities on short punchy climbs like the NogLa stage finish have been aided by his efforts on the Beihai circuit. Speaking to Cyclingnews as he made his way to the podium after crossing the line in 38th place, Dillier explained his plan to gain an early advantage.
"Yeah trying to get some bonus seconds and move up GC is always something good to do," said Dillier who will swap his red and white national kit for the blue sprint jersey on stage 2.
Joining Dillier in the breakaway for the majority for the 107.4km stage was Nic Dougall (Dimension Data), Andriy Grivko (Astana) and Remi Cavagna (Quick-Step Floors). Despite the possibility of the escapees losing cohesion with the lure of classification jerseys and a possible stage win, Dillier explained it was relatively straightforward endeavour to pick up his bonus seconds.
"We were working pretty well together. Even though I could win all the sprints the others kept working well and I was really happy. The motivation was good," he added.
With BMC since the 2014 season, Dillier has enjoyed a breakout season in 2017 with a Giro d'Italia stage win, overall Route du Sud victory, and the Swiss road title. For the remaining stages of the Tour of Guangxi, the 27-year-old is sure to be a marked rider, commenting that is doesn't believe there will be any more gifts on the road for him this week.
"I never had in mind to go solo because on this parcours you have close to zero per cent chance to make it to the finish so it was better to save the legs for tomorrow," he said. "I don't think they will let me go in the breakaway tomorrow. We will see then on the fourth stage with the uphill finish how it goes, but I expect more punchy climbers moving up in GC then."
While the Tour of Guangxi is Dillier's last race in BMC Racing colours before his move to AG2R La Mondiale and a win would certainly be a fitting farewell present, he explained that his focus is imply on delivering a top result regardless of the circumstances.
"I always go to races wanting to do my best so it doesn't matter what comes next. I want to always do my best each race," he said.