Defending champion Gilberto Simoni took the overall lead after winning the 191km third stage of the Giro d'Italia.
The 33-year-old Italian, who also won in 2001, took the first mountain stage of the tour to relieve Australian Brad McGee of the pink jersey.
He broke away three kilometres from the end to finish in a winning time of five hours, 46 minutes and nine seconds.
Simoni beat Saeco team-mate Damiano Cunego by 15 seconds and now leads his fellow Italian by 13 seconds overall.
The man considered Simoni's main rival for the title, Stefano Garzelli, lost valuable ground on Simoni trailing in 34 seconds in arrears while McGee also fell back after struggling on the final climb.
Simoni said: "It was a great team showing, but of course the Giro does not end today.
"You must pile up a five-minute lead to win this race and the tough stages still are far ahead."
Stage three results:
1. Gilberto Simoni (Italy) Saeco 5.46.09
2. Damiano Cunego (Italy) Saeco 0.15 seconds behind
3. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) Alessio-Bianchi 0.16
4. Giuliano Figueras (Italy) Ceramiche Panaria-Margres
5. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine) Landbouwkrediet all same time
6. Eddy Mazzoleni (Italy) Saeco 0.32
7. Gerhard Trampusch (Austria) Acqua & Sapone same time
8. Stefano Garzelli (Italy) Vini Caldirola 0.34
9. Dario David Cioni (Italy) Fassa Bortolo
10. Andrea Noe' (Italy) Alessio-Bianchi
1. Gilberto Simoni (Italy) 14.13.58
2. Damiano Cunego (Italy) 0.13 seconds behind
3. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine) 0.21
4. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) 0.29
5. Gerhard Trampusch (Austria) 0.41
6. Giuliano Figueras (Italy) 0.45
7. Dario David Cioni (Italy) 0.52
8. Serguei Gontchar (Ukraine) De Nardi 0.58
9. Stefano Garzelli (Italy) 1.05
10. Eddy Mazzoleni (Italy) 1.06