Chris Froome moved up to eighth place overall at the Giro d’Italia after hanging tough on the Mount Etna summit finish on stage six.
The Team Sky leader weathered a storm of attacks on the steep first-category climb, crossing the line 10th as part of an elite group of general classification contenders.
That result ensured he elevated himself into the top 10 overall, now sitting one minute and 10 seconds back on new race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).
“It was a tough day and a big test for all the GC guys to see where everyone was at”, said Froome.
“I think personally I am happy to have made it through the stage without any major issues and to have been up there with the main GC guys bar Chaves and Yates – who rode an amazing race today.
“They’ve certainly taken the race on, so chapeau to them, they’ve been riding really well the past few days.
“I feel as if I’m getting better and better each day after Israel now, with the bigger picture in mind of getting to the third week as strong as possible and obviously this is the first main objective of the season for me and things are still on track.
“There’s still a lot of work ahead of us, but there’s still a lot of racing to come.”