Roe, who was in danger of not even playing following a wasp sting that caused his left wrist to swell overnight, responded in nice form on Day 2, shooting a second-round 66 at Saint-Nom-La-Breteche to move to 10-under-par 132.
Entering the weekend, he stands one shot clear of Anthony Wall and Sergio Garcia, who each went around in day-best 65s Friday.
Meanwhile, two other players sit two shots back at 8-under for the event, while defending champion Retief Goosen is amongst a group of three others at 7-under following a 71.
In addition to his bee sting, Roe is coming back from tough times, having not played in the last six months of 1999 and missing all of 2000 due to an injury.
This year, the Englishman has struggled, missing 10 cuts of his 23 events, and not finishing inside the top-20 in any one event.
He didnt appear to be lacking of skills Friday, however, as the 38-year-old offset just a single bogey on his card with six strong birdies.
Yet, while Roe has been trying to come back to the game in recent times, Garcia has been emerging as one of its young stars.
While he has not won in Europe in some time, the Spaniard has become a staple in America, winning twice this year at the MasterCard Colonial and the Buick Classic.
On Friday, he appeared to be headed for disaster early with two bogies over his first three holes, but then kicked it in, making eight birdies over his next ten holes.
A bogey at No. 14 dropped him back a stroke, but he answered with a late birdie at the par-5 16th to move to within one of the lead.
For defending champion and U.S. Open titleholder Goosen, the day was marginal at best following his opening score of 64.
The South African managed to record four birdies on his day, but was undone with four bogies as well.
Full-field scores from the Trophee Lancome