Germany’s Lennard Kamna won stage four of the Giro d’Italia in Sicily, finishing one second ahead of Spain’s Juan Pedro Lopez after a gruelling climb up Mount Etna.
Lopez moved into first place in the general classification.
The pair broke away on the 172km stage, finishing 34 seconds ahead of Estonian Rein Taaramae at altitudes reaching 1,892 metres above sea level.
The peloton, led by Belgian Sylvain Moniquet, were over two minutes behind.
Britain’s Simon Yates was part of that group, as were race favourites Richard Carapaz and Romain Bardet.
That group were six minutes adrift of the breakaway when they began the 23km climb up Etna, but managed to cut the lead to two minutes 37 seconds by the finish.
Yates drops from second to fourth place overall, while previous race leader Mathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands lost significant ground early in the climb and finished 22:54 down as the tour arrived in Italy with a first mountain stage following three stages in Hungary.
Lopez, 24, is now 39 seconds ahead of Kamna in the overall standings.
“I don’t care how much my lead is, I just want to savour the moment,” Lopez said. “I don’t know how long I can keep the pink jersey.”
The tour stays in Sicily for stage five from Catania to Messina on Wednesday. The 21-stage race concludes in Verona on 29 May.
Stage four result:
1. Lennard Kamna (Ger/Bora-hansgrohe) 4hrs 32mins 11secs
2. Juan Pedro Lopez (Spa/Trek – Segafredo) +1secs
3. Rein Taaramae (Est/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) +34secs
4. Sylvain Moniquet (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +2mins 12secs
5. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel/Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl Team) Same time
6. Gijs Leemreize (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +2mins 31secs
7. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) +2mins 37secs
8. Romain Bardet (Fra/Team DSM) Same time
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Bahrain Victorious) Same time
10. Joao Almeida (Por/UAE Team Emirates) Same time
General classification standings
1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Spa/Trek – Segafredo) 14hrs 17mins 7secs
2. Lennard Kamna (Ger/Bora-hansgrohe) +39secs
3. Rein Taaramae (Est/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) +58secs
4. Simon Yates (GB/Team BikeExchange-Jayco) +1min 42secs
5. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel/Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl Team) +1min 47secs
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Bora-hansgrohe) +1min 55secs
7. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Bahrain Victorious)+2mins
8. Joao Almeida (Por/UAE Team Emirates) Same time
9. Richie Porte (Aus/Ineos Grenadiers) +2mins 4secs
10. Romain Bardet (Fra/Team DSM)+2mins 6secs