Canadian Ryder Hesjedal has assumed the overall lead in the Giro d'Italia after finishing five seconds behind Paolo Tiralongo in the seventh stage.
Italian Adriano Malori had begun the 125-mile leg with a 15-second advantage but could not stand the pace late on.
Tiralongo outfought defending champion Michele Scarponi over a steep final climb up to take the day's honours.
Team Sky's Mark Cavendish, second in the sprint standings, safely made his way home 17 minutes later.
Italian Tiralongo is now Hesjedal's closest rival in the general classification with 15 seconds separating him from the pink jersey.
Frank Schleck, third in the 2011 Tour de France last year and one of the favourites for the race, moved up the field to within 48 seconds of Hesjedal after taking third place, three seconds behind the leading pair.
1. Ryder Hesjedal (Can, Garmin-Barracuda) 26 hours, 16 minutes, 53 seconds.
2. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita, Astana) at 15 secs
3. Joaquin Rodriguez, (Esp, Katusha) at 17 secs
4. Christian Vande Velde, (US, Garmin-Barracuda)
5. Peter Stetina (US, Garmin-Barracuda) at 26 secs.
12. Frank Schleck (Lux, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) at 48 seconds
15. Rigoberto Uran (Col, Team Sky) at 53 seconds
16. Michele Scarponi (Ita, Lampre) at 54 seconds
116. Geraint Thomas (Gbr, Team Sky) at 30 minutes 35 seconds
117. Peter Kennaugh (Gbr, Team Sky) 31 minutes, 20 seconds