Ivan Basso won stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia, brushing aside his rivals in the individual time-trial.
Basso scooped more glory
The Italian clocked 45 minutes five seconds on a hilly 34km course from Chieri to Turin, nine seconds quicker than Russian Vladimir Karpets.
It was Basso's second-straight stage win after he also prevailed in Limone Piemonte on Thursday.
But compatriot Paolo Savoldelli kept the overall race lead after finishing fourth on Friday, 23 seconds adrift.
Basso tried to shrug off his disappointment at his lowly overall position after his latest win.
"These two stage wins are a huge satisfaction but I don't want to think about what I could have done," he said.
"You need a bit of luck to win major stage races and I didn't have it.
"My only consolation is knowing that one day I can win the Giro."
Saturday's 190km stage takes the Giro riders from Savigliano to the ski resort of Sestriere.
It is the last mountain stage and will very likely decide the winner ahead of Sunday's final flat stage to Milan.
Stage 18 result:
1. Ivan Basso (Italy / Team CSC) 45:05"
2. Vladimir Karpets (Russia / Illes Balears) +9"
3. David Zabriskie (United States / Team CSC) +20"
4. Paolo Savoldelli (Italy / Discovery Channel) +23"
5. Dario Cioni (Italy / Liquigas) +28"
6. Sergei Gontchar (Ukraine / Domina Vacanze) +40"
7. Marzio Bruseghin (Italy / Fassa Bortolo) +1:02"
8. Juan Manuel Garate (Spain / Saunier Duval) +1:25"
9. Paolo Bettini (Italy / Quick-Step) +1:28"
10. Gilberto Simoni (Italy / Lampre - Caffita) +1:34"
1. Paolo Savoldelli (Italy / Discovery Channel) 82:10:18"
2. Gilberto Simoni (Italy / Lampre - Caffita) +2;09"
3. Jose Rujano (Venezuela / Colombia - Selle Italia) +3:00"
4. Danilo Di Luca (Italy / Liquigas) +3:08"
5. Juan Manuel Garate (Spain / Saunier Duval) +3:13"
6. Sergei Gontchar (Ukraine / Domina Vacanze) +4:22"
7. Vladimir Karpets (Russia / Illes Balears) +6:30"
8. Dario Cioni (Italy / Liquigas) +6:52"
9. Pietro Caucchioli (Italy / Credit Agricole) +6:53"
10. Marzio Bruseghin (Italy / Fassa Bortolo) +8:21"