Voigt celebrates his first stage win in the Giro d'Italia
Germany's Jens Voigt claimed his first stage win in the Giro d'Italia with a breakaway victory in the 18th leg.
The CSC rider went alone with 40km of the 147km race left and finished more than a minute ahead of his rivals.
Italian Giovanni Visconti was second, while compatriots Rinaldo Nocentini and Gabriele Bosisio finished third and fourth respectively.
Astana rider Alberto Contador retained his 41-second overall lead despite finishing nearly eight minutes behind.
Voigt, who won two stages in the Tour de France in 2001 and 2006, believed he was rewarded for his enterprise.
"The rider who seizes the initiative, who attacks the first, is favoured in this situation," he said.
"When I found myself in the breakaway, my team director said to me that it wasn't a particularly good idea to find myself in such a group but once I was with them then it was imperative to get a result."
The Giro continues on Friday with a 228km mountain race from Legnano to Monte Pora and leader Contador predicted it would be a tough stage.
"It will be a difficult day. I am expecting to be attacked but I am confident," said the Spaniard.
Stage 18 results:
1. Jens Voigt (Germany/Team CSC) 3: 22. 46
2. Giovanni Visconti (Italy/Quick-Step) @ 1:07
3. Rinaldo Nocentini (Italy/AG2R)
4. Gabriele Bosisio (Italy/Team LPR)
5. Daniele Bennati (Italy/Liquigas) @ 2:04
6. Paolo Bettini (Italy/Quick-Step)
7. Felix Cardenas (Colombia/Barloworld)
8. Alan Perez (Spain/Euskaltel)
9. Mauricio Ardila (Colombia/Rabobank)
10. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain/Caisse d'Epargne)
1. Alberto Contador (Spain) 75 hours, 45 minutes, 17 seconds.
2. Riccardo Ricco (Italy) 41 seconds behind.
3. Gilberto Simoni (Italy) 1:21.
4. Marzio Bruseghin (Italy) 2:00.
5. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) 2:05.
6. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) 2:18.
7. Denis Menchov (Russia) 2:47.
8. Emanuele Sella (Italy) 4:25.
9. Jurgen van den Broeck (Belgium) 4:26.
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy) 5:25.
Selected others stage 18 results:
73. Charles Wegelius (Gbr/Liquigas) 3hrs 22mins 46secs.
111. Geraint Thomas (Gbr/Barloworld) @ 10.54.
112. David Millar (Gbr/Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30)
137. Steven Cummings (Gbr/Barloworld)
139. Bradley Wiggins (Gbr/Team High Road)
145. Mark Cavendish (Gbr/Team High Road)
Selected others overall standings:
89. Charles Wegelius (Gbr/Liquigas) 1hr 43mins 37secs.
95. David Millar (Gbr/Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30) @ 1.52.25.
119. Geraint Thomas (Gbr/Barloworld) @ 2.17.17.
126. Steven Cummings (Gbr/Barloworld) @ 2.25.57.
138. Mark Cavendish (Gbr/Team High Road) @ 2.48.05.
139. Bradley Wiggins (Gbr/Team High Road) @ 2.51.57.