Rigoberto Urán moved into the top 10 at the Giro d'Italia as Team Sky enlivened the finale of stage 10 into Assisi.
In a neat bit of symmetry, the Colombian also finished the day 10th on the stage to continue his gradual rise up the leaderboard after a thrilling finale which saw both the 25-year-old and team-mate Sergio Henao fighting at the sharp end in one of the most picturesque finishes of the season so far.
Urán showed his intent by attacking just ahead of the two-kilometre banner following the first of the two steep finishing climbs, plunging down the descent on the run into the finishing town with fellow contender John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) on his wheel.
That move was snuffed out by a determined peloton which set the scene for pre-stage favourite Joaquim Rodriguez to take a victory which moved him into the leader's pink jersey.
The Spaniard (Katusha) timed his attacked to perfection and kicked clear on the narrow streets into the finish to win by two seconds over Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp).
Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) rounded out the podium but despite finishing the day in fifth, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) was forced to relinquish the maglia rosa as bonus seconds elevated Rodriguez into a 17-second lead.
Right there as the riders headed into the final 100 metres were compatriots Urán and Henao, both finishing just six seconds back on the day as part of an elite front group.
The result means Urán is now 1:10 back on the road in 10th with Henao maintaining 14th, 17 seconds further back.
The finish took place in spectacular surroundings with positioning vital heading along a finishing straight barely wide enough for two riders.
Team Sky had been prominent on the lead-up to the climb to place the duo in the best possible position, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas stringing out the peloton in scenes reminiscent of a lead-out train on a sprint stage.
Controlled by Katusha, the pace in the bunch was uneven throughout the day, allowing things to stay together until the foot of the steep final climb and for Mark Cavendish to move one point closer to the points jersey, now just three adrift of rival Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE).
After the stage Sports Director Nicolas Portal praised the team for pulling together on the lead-in to the tough final climb.
The Frenchman said: "The team did a very good job the whole day, but especially the last 10k before the peloton started climbing. Rigoberto is now up into the top 10 so it is a nice result for the team to build on.
"G, Pete, Ian and the guys did a very good job to put Sergio and Rigoberto on the front in the best possible position on the run-in.
"The final climb was very steep and over some nice cobblestones. The city is such a nice fantastic place to finish with a really epic atmosphere. Rigoberto and Sergio did their best but saw a very strong Rodriguez."