Alessandro Petacchi clinched his sixth stage win of this year's Giro d'Italia, taking the Cesena-Treviso 12th leg.
The Italian put on a powerful sprint to beat Australia's Robbie McEwen and Belarussian Alexandre Usov to win in four hours, 48 minutes and 12 seconds.
"Today I can really say I'm the number one sprinter in the world," he said after equalling his previous best of six stage victories.
Italy's Damiano Cunego of the Saeco team retains the overall lead.
Marco Zanotti crashed 300m from the finish after being
pushed into the roadside barriers as three riders fought for Petacchi's wheel.
The Italian was unhurt and managed to finish the stage.
With eight stages to go in the race, Petacchi has now set
his sights on beating the post war record of seven stage wins in one Giro.
That is held by set by Belgians Roger De Vlaemenick and Freddy Maertens and Italian Giuseppe Saronni.
Saturday's 13th stage is a 52-km time trial around the town of Trieste in north-east Italy.
Stage 12 results:
1. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4:48.12
2. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo
3. Alexandre Usov (Blr) Phonak
4. Zoran Klemencic (Slo) Tenax
5. Olaf Pollack (Ger) Gerolsteiner
6. Alberto Loddo (Ita) Saunier Duval
7. Crescenzo d'Amore (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
8. Maxim Rudenko (Ukr) Chocolade Jacques
9. Andris Nauduzs (Lat) Domina Vacanze
10. Simone Cadamuro (Ita) De Nardi all same time
Leading overall standings:
1. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco 55:31.41
2. Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco 16 secs behind
3. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 34
4. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet 40
5. Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria 58
6. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola 1:15
7. Dario David Cioni (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1:19
8. Andrea Noe (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 1:23
9. Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) De Nardi same time
10. Emanuele Sella (Italy) Ceramiche Panaria 1:25