Nordhaug kept ahead of Wilco Keldermann (Rabobank) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) to win the stage to Vejle in a sprint finish.
The Norwegian now leads Andre Greipel by three seconds heading into Saturday's time trial.
“It was amazing to get a win for the team," said Nordhaug. "It was really motivating to have Mark (Cavendish) and the guys who won in the Olympics pulling for you. I really wanted to try and win or help Mick and Luke. I wanted to do a good race either way but I got the victory and I’m super happy.
“I won earlier in the season, I had a super spring and then I trained for the Olympics. It’s been a bit up and down since then and I’ve been a bit sick but I’m training for the worlds now and it’s nice to get the victory. It’s good to be back in the game.
“I haven’t done a time trial since the nationals. I’ve had an improvement in my time trialling this year and in the national I did a really good performance. I just need to go as fast as I can and see how it goes.
"But I’m happy with this victory as I wasn’t sure I could get a good result here. I’m sure Mick and Luke can be up there tomorrow and we have a good chance of winning the race.”
- Andre Greipel