Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) jumped to third overall at the Giro d’Italia ahead of team leader Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) after winning the first mountain stage of the race.
The Colombian struck out on the final climb and rode solo to the finish to win ahead of compatriot Carlos Betancur (Ag2r La Mondiale) and race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
But Wiggins was distanced on the steep slopes and finished one minute and eight seconds behind his team-mate – and more than 30 seconds after title rivals Nibali and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).
Nibali extended his advantage over Evans at the top of the general classification to 41 seconds having earned a three-second time bonus at the final intermediate sprint and an additional eight-second bonus for finishing third on the stage.
Wiggins remains fourth overall, a second behind Uran and two minutes and eight seconds behind Nibali, but Ryder Hesjedal was the day’s biggest loser, with the Canadian finishing 21 minutes behind Uran to see any hope he had of defending his title evaporate in dramatic fashion.
Uran said: “I’m very happy to have taken the win today. It is the first win for me in a Grand Tour and it is very satisfying after getting so close before. It nice to finally be able to finish off a victory.
“It is doubly special as it came after such a strong ride from the team. It was always the plan for me to attack on the climb and things went to plan. The team rode incredibly all day.
“The result has meant I have jumped up a few positions on the general classification so now I am one second in front of Brad. That is a good position to be in for me and for the team to have two riders there.
“There is still such a long way to go in this Giro but today we showed that we have one of the strongest teams in the race, if not the strongest.”
After more than a week of sparring, which included some near knockout blows delivered to both Wiggins and Hesjedal, the race moved into the high mountains after Monday’s rest day.
Stage ten covered a 167km route which included two category one climbs, the first, the Passo Cason di Lanza, coming after 117km and the second, the ascent of the Altopiano del Montasio, bringing the stage to a close.
A 13-man break, which included Briton David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) went up the road after just 20km of racing and built up a lead of more than nine minutes, with Elle Viviani (Cannondale Pro Cycling) winning the first intermediate sprint from the group to move to the top of the points classification.
Team Sky moved to the front of the peloton ahead of the first climb, setting a fierce pace in typically metronomic fashion to quickly eat into the break’s advantage and, more surprisingly, put Hesjedal in serious difficulty. Hesjedal lost more than a minute after being dropped on the final climb on stage nine but few could have predicted the 32-year-old’s subsequent implosion two days later.
With the escape group quickly dwindling in numbers, Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli) attacked to summit the climb first and secure maximum mountains points ahead of the long descent to the valley floor.
Wiggins has struggled when descending in wet conditions thus far at the Giro but, with blue skies and dry roads for stage ten, the Tour de France champion reached the bottom of the twisting, technical descent of the Passo Cason di Lanza with the main field, which still contained all of the main favourites except Hesjedal.
Up the road and Rodriguez held an advantage of nearly four minutes over the peloton with 30km remaining but was forced to change bikes, allowing Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who had earlier been part of the initial break with the Venezuelan, to bridge across.
Team Sky took up the chase again with the final climb approaching and Rodriguez and Pauwels saw their lead cut to a little under two-and-a-half minutes at the foot of the ascent.
With Rodriguez forced to change bikes yet again, that gap dropped to 25 seconds as Team Sky led the peloton under the 10km banner, with Wiggins seemingly sitting pretty with a number of team-mates at his disposal, before the duo were swept up a kilometre later.
Wiggins won his Tour de France title by dominating in time trials and then suffocating the race in the mountains with the help of his team-mates but Team Sky ripped up the script when Uran attacked with eight kilometres to go, forcing Nibali’s sole remaining team-mate, Valerio Agnoli, to take up the pace-setting.
Uran rode away with ease and quickly grew out an advantage of nearly a minute but behind him Wiggins ran into difficulty as the road kicked up to 20 per cent, dropping back from a small group which contained both Nibali and Evans.
Wiggins managed to limit his loses as the gradient eased over the final two kilometres but both Nibali and Evans were out of sight. There was no stopping Uran, however, and the 26-year-old took his first Grand Tour stage win in style, crossing the line 20 seconds ahead of Betancur, who had jumped from the chasing group to finish second.
Giro d’Italia 2013 – stage ten – result
1) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Team Sky 4:37:42 hours
2) Carlos Betancur (COL) – Ag2r La Mondiale +20″
3) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana +31″
4) Mauro Santambrogio (ITA) – Vini Fantini-Selle Italia – same time
5) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing
6) Rafal Majka (POL) – Saxo-Tinkoff
7) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r La Mondiale
8) Robert Kiserlovski (CRO) – Radioshack-Leopard +47″
9) Benat Intxausti (SPA) – Movistar +1’06”
10) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky +1’08”
1) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana 38:57:32 hours
2) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing +41″
3) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Team Sky +2’04”
4) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky +2’08”
5) Robert Gesink (NED) – Blanco Pro Cycling +2’12”
6) Michele Scarponi (ITA) – Lampre-Merida+2’13”
7) Mauro Santambrogio (ITA) – Vini Fantini-Selle Italia +2’55”
8) Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL) – Lampre-Merida +3’35”
9) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r La Mondiale +4’17”
10) Rafal Majka (POL) – Saxo-Tinkoff +4’21”