Scarponi was up at the front of the field for most of the stage
Michele Scarponi won stage six of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday, with Danilo di Luca retaining the race lead after finishing 36 seconds further back.
Scarponi was among the pacesetters for the 248km stage, and broke free at the climb over Hochkrimml, 50km from the line, as many others fell off the pace.
Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen finished the day in second place, just ahead of five other riders on the same time.
Thomas Lovkvist lies second behind Di Luca, with Michael Rogers in third.
Wednesday's result had no impact on the top 10 overall placings in the race, and di Luca admitted he had not been interested in going for the stage win.
"Today was harder than it looked," said Di Luca.
"What Scarponi did was impressive. We didn't have any interest in chasing him down. We only wanted to defend the pink jersey."
The win was Scarponi's first in the Giro, and comes just months after he returned to action after an 18-month ban for his implication in the Operation Puerto doping scandal.
Thursday's stage crossed the border into Austria, and Friday's 244km leg of the tour starts in Innsbruck and crosses into Switzerland before finishing back in Italy, at Chiavenna.
Giro d'Italia stage six result:
1 M Scarponi (Ita/Diquigiovanni) 5hrs 49mins 55secs
2 E Boasson Hagen (Nor/Columbia) @ 32 secs
3 A Davis (Aus/Quick-Step)
4 F Pozzato (Ita/Katusha)
5 M Goss (Aus/Saxo Bank)
6 P Gilbert (Bel/Silence-Lotto)
7 E Gasparotto (Ita/Lampre)
8 M Rogers (Aus/Columbia) @ 36 secs
9 D Di Luca (Ita/Team LPR)
10 T Valjavec (Slovenia / AG2R)
Overall race standings:
1 D Di Luca (Ita/Team LPR) 22hrs 11mins 15secs
2 T Lovkvist (Swe/Columbia) @ 5 secs
3 M Rogers (Aus/Columbia) @ 36 secs
4 L Leipheimer (US/Astana) @ 43 secs
5 D Menchov (Rus/Rabobank) @ 50 secs
25 L Armstrong (US/Astana) @4:13
27 B Wiggins (GB/Garmin) @4:37