Italy's Vincenzo Nibali convincingly won the 20.6km uphill time trial to move more than four minutes ahead of Cadel Evans in the battle for the maglia rosa.
Spain's Benat Intxausti won a three-way sprint to take stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia ahead of Tanel Kangert and Przemyslaw Niemiec in Ivrea.
Giovanni Visconti defied the snow to take a remarkable solo victory at the Marco Pantani monument on the Col du Galibier in stage 15.
Vincenzo Nibali tightened his grip on the pink jersey with a second-place finish atop the Jafferau climb in stage 14.
Britain's Mark Cavendish secured his 100th professional win in a sodden stage 12 as Bradley Wiggins lost more than three minutes to his rivals.
It was a mixed day for Team Sky as Bradley Wiggins lost more time to his rivals, while Rigoberto Uran soloed to victory.
Pre-race favourite Bradley Wiggins endured another difficult day on a rain-lashed ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia.
Defending champion Ryder Hesjedal dropped out of the top 10 after losing more than a minute to his rivals on stage nine of the Giro, won by Maxim Belkov.
Britain's Alex Dowsett beat compatriot Bradley Wiggins in a 55km individual time trial to win stage eight.
New Giro d'Italia race leader Vincenzo Nibali took an important step towards possible victory on Saturday by limiting his losses to favourite Bradley Wiggins in
Bradley Wiggins crashed in the hilly Abruzzo region as Adam Hansen soloed to victory in stage seven of the Giro d'Italia.
Italian veteran Luca Paolini of Katusha soloed to victory in stage three of the Giro d'Italia to take the race lead in Ascea.
Youngster Salvatore Puccio rode into the pink jersey after Team Sky won stage two of the Giro d'Italia - a team time trial.
With the cobbled Classics out of the way, attention turns to the Ardennes Classics which begins with the Amstel Gold Race.
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