Matthias Schwab mastered the difficult early conditions to card a brilliant bogey free 66 and set the clubhouse target on day two of the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA.
Cold, wet and windy weather greeted those out in the morning at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort but Schwab kept his head and showed wonderful control of his ball to get to eight under.
Italy's Edoardo Molinari was two back in the very early stages of his round, a shot clear of Spaniard Alvaro Quiros and Scot Robert MacIntyre, who were both in the clubhouse.
Late starters Alejandro Cañizares, Tom Murray and Matthew Southgate were also at five under, one ahead of Frenchman Adrien Saddier and Germany's Max Schmitt.
Schwab finished an impressive 72nd on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex in his rookie 2018 season and has been a picture of consistency so far this campaign.
He has two top tens from ten made cuts in 12 events as he looks to edge ever closer to a first European Tour victory.
All the overnight leaders were due out in the afternoon but with tough conditions greeting the early starters, getting past them was not going to be easy.
Quiros set about the task gamely, picking up a shot on the first and adding a hat-trick of gains from the fifth to turn in 32 and share the lead.
Another birdie on the tenth had him in top spot on his own but he had company in the form of Schmitt, who picked up shots on the fourth, fifth and seventh.
The Qualifying School graduate then bogeyed the ninth and a double on the 13th left Schwab as Quiros' nearest challenger after birdies on the 14th and 17th.
Saddier was five shots of the lead as he stood on the fifth tee after a birdie on the 14th and bogey on the 15th but he then went on a remarkable run of scoring. He birdied the fifth, sixth and seventh and, when he holed a long putt from off the eighth green, he was just one back.
That was soon a share of the lead as Quiros came up just short of the 16th green and failed to get up and down, making it an eight way tie.
A closing bogey from Saddier dropped him to four under and he was replaced in the leading group by MacIntyre, who birdied the 12th to go with gains on the fifth and eighth, and bogeys on the first and tenth.
Schwab was the man to break the leading logjam, picking up a shot on the second to move to six under.
Quiros parred the 17th and 18th to set the target at five under as MacIntyre bogeyed the 13th but birded the next.
Schwab briefly extended his lead to two as he got up and down on the par five fifth but MacIntyre cut the gap to one with a stunning tee shot at the 16th.
MacIntyre's roller coaster continued as he gave the shot straight back, and Southgate moved into second with a birdie on the 11th - his second hole.
Southgate bogeyed the 13th as Molinari birdied the first, and a closing gain from the leader handed him a three shot cushion from those who had completed their rounds.
Schmitt bounced back from his double bogey with a birdie on the 14th to join Saddier in the clubhouse at four under.
The weather may have been drab but Sebastian Soderberg provided a ray of sunshine on Himmerland Hill with the 14th hole-in-one of the season.
Martin Simonsen aced the 16th on day one and Soderberg repeated the feat with a 50 degree wedge from 100 yards.