Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) won the queen stage of the Giro d'Italia as Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) claimed the maglia rosa in emphatic fashion.
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) limited his losses but the biggest loser was pre-race favourite Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Chaves won a four-rider bunch sprint over Kruijswijk, George Preidler (Giant-Alpecin) and Darwin Atapuma (BMC) on the gruelling 210km six categorised climb filled stage from Alpago to Corvara.
"To win a stage at the Giro d'Italia was my dream since I started my pro career. I love this race. To win the hardest stage is even better. It's awesome. Thank you to the guys and to my director Matt Blanco (White)." Chaves said.
Out the front alone with 25km to go and part of the large early breakaway, Atapuma was agonisingly caught by the rapidly approaching trio with just 1.8kms to go.
Nibali arrived home fifth and 37 seconds adrift, while Valverde, dropped on the final climb, finished 11th, three minutes behind Chaves. Overnight race leader Andrey Amador could not follow the pace on the second last climb and finished 14th and three minutes and 52 seconds down.
New minted maglia rosa Steven Kruijswijk said he asked his sport director if he should save energy for tomorrow's uphill time trial.
"We decided we wouldn't. I felt I was a little bit better than Vincenzo Nibali so it was the right day to take advantage of it.
"Luckily a strong guy came with me. It's an enormous satisfaction to take the Maglia Rosa, especially in such a wonderful setting as the Dolomites."
The earlier action
A small group of favourites arrived together at the foot of the final Passo Vaparola climb including Valverde, Nibali, Chaves, Kruijswijk, Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R).
Nibali attacked as the road inclined with around 27kms to race. Only Chaves and Kruijswijk were able to counter. Then the Dutchman launched, gaining a small gap which Chaves bridged.
While Nibali failed to make up time on the descent, he worked valiantly to limit his losses and still sits somewhat comfortably in second on the overall classification.
Another large group kicked off breakaway proceedings after 50kms raced. Several chancers tried their luck out front from the bigger breakway. Chaves' team-mate Ruben Plaza enjoyed 50kms alone cresting the Gardena (cat. 3) and Campolongo (cat. 2) climbs before he was caught by Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data) and Atapuma on the penultimate Passo Giau (cat. 1). Earier, David Lopez (Sky) too enjoyed time out the front over the Passo Sella (cat. 2).