Tadej Pogacar powered to victory on an uphill finish to stage four of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Thursday and claimed the overall lead.
The Slovenian took the leader’s blue jersey from Filippo Ganna after sealing his fifth win of the season with an impressive late burst in Bellante.
“After the whole team’s big day, I thought I had to go for it,” said Pogacar.
He attacked with 500 metres remaining to edge out Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard and Frenchman Victor Lafay.
Pogacar, who won the Strade Bianche last weekend, now boasts a nine-second advantage over Remco Evenepoel in the general classification. Ganna is a further 12 seconds back in third place.
Friday’s fifth stage is a 155km hilly ride from Sefro to Fermo.
“Tomorrow will be a bit like today,” said Pogacar. “You’ll have to be very focused.”