Pieter Weening broke away in the closing stages to take stage five and the race lead at the Giro d’Italia.
The Rabobank rider attacked out of a group of three breakaway riders during the run into Orvieto and was able to hold off a chasing group of elite favourites to move into a two second lead overall.
Eight seconds after the Dutchman had crossed the line Fabio Duarte (Geox) and Jose Serpa Perez (Androni-Giocattoli) rounded out the podium places, leading home a group that contained pre-race favourites Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas).
The stage marked a return to the infamous ‘strade bianche’ gravel roads, with dusty conditions and treacherous road surfaces wreaking havoc in the peloton on a day that saw Brit David Millar (Garmin-Cervlo) forced to relinquish the leader’s jersey.
The stage began the start of the rebuilding process following the tragic death of Wouter Weylandt on Monday’s stage three, with the Belgian’s Leopard Trek squad opting to pull out of the race ahead of the 191 kilometre test.
Martin Kohler (BMC) attacked after just 12 kilometres and built up a gap of over 12 minutes before the peloton began to reel him in.
The Swiss rider lead over both the day’s categorised climbs and saw his brave ride rewarded with the green jersey as leader of the mountain’s classification.
In a bizarre turn of events at the day’s first sprint point at Arcidosso, overnight race leader Millar and second-placed Angel Vicioso (Androni-Giocattoli) collided whilst sprinting for bonus seconds.
Both riders bridged back to the bunch ahead of three action-packed gravel sections that saw accidents and punctures halt the progress of a number of riders.
Again distanced from a rapidly diminishing main bunch, Millar chased back on heroically only to crack on the day’s final climb, eventually rolling in over two and a half minutes down.
John Gadret (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Weening struck out on their own as the riders left the white roads and bridged across to Kohler on the final run in to Orvieto.
Not content to work as part of a trio, Weening attacked on the flat run-in and held on over the final climb to take an impressive solo win.