Nicolas Colsaerts edged into a one shot lead as the third day of the Amundi Open de France edged towards its conclusion at Le Golf National.
The big hitting Belgian entered the weekend in a share of the lead as he looks to secure his playing privileges and he turned in 34 to get to 11 under.
American Kurt Kitayama is a two time European Tour winner like Colsaerts - with both of his victories coming in this, his rookie season - and he also made two birdies on an unblemished front nine to sit a shot back.
South African George Coetzee, Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Scot Richie Ramsay were then at nine under.
Co overnight leader Coetzee dropped a shot on the second to leave Colsaerts in the solo lead but the 36-year-old soon had company again as Kitayama made a two putt birdie on the par five third.
The group in second was swelling as Ramsay rolled in a long putt on the fifth but they were soon all two back.
Colsaerts holed from 12 feet at the fifth to edge himself in front but Kitayama followed him in from around a third of that distance to also get into double figures.
Ramsay holed from four feet at the sixth to move just one back and he was joined by Coetzee who, after a smart par save on the fifth, birdied from 12 feet on the sixth.
That hole was proving gettable and Colsaerts made a birdie of his own from five feet to once again get his nose in front.
Donaldson is battling to keep his playing privileges and he was doing his chances no harm with a wonderful third round.
The 2014 Ryder Cup star - celebrating his 44th birthday - birdied the second and third, put an approach to close range on the sixth and rolled a left to righter up the hill on the next to turn in 32.
A stunning approach to the tenth then left him a very short putt and he was in a share of third.
Dane Joachim B Hansen and South African Brandon Stone were eight under, a shot clear of 2009 champion Martin Kaymer and home favourites Benjamin Hebert and Victor Perez.