Mikel Nieve has helped ease Sky's disappointment at losing its overall hope Mikel Landa to illness earlier this week by winning Stage 13 of the 99th Giro d'Italia in Cividale today.
On the first big mountain test of this year's race, Movistar's Andrey Aador replaces Bob Jungels of Etixx-Quick Step as the new leader of the general classification.
Nieve, whose previous Giro d'Italia stage win came in 2011, was alone out front by the time he crested the third of the day's four categorised climbs, the Cima Porzus, and would not be caught as he soloed his way to victory.
Movistar's Giovanni Visconti finished second on the stage, but team mate Alejandro Valverde missed the chance to go into second spot overall as Vincenzo Nibali led the main general classification group home to take bonus seconds on the line and leapfrog the Spaniard.
Race leader Amador insisted afterwards that Valverde was still the man spearheading Movistar's challenge.
"I'm delighted to have the Maglia Rosa. I'll do my best to enjoy this experience," he said.
"The truth is that Alejandro Valverde is very strong and my move to the top spot doesn't change anything. He's our captain and I'm racing for him.
"We have two very hard days ahead. Tomorrow it'll be one of the queen-stages. It's great to go into it with the Maglia Rosa."
Stage winner Nieve said afterwards: "I'm very happy. It's been almost five years since I last won a stage at the Giro d'Italia.
"Today's attack was kind of planned. To go on the attack for a stage victory was the only thing we could do after Mikel Landa abandoned. I went full gas. It's great that I've made it."
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.