Rome - Colombian Miguel Angel Rubiano escaped to victory on the sixth stage of the Giro d'Italia over 207km from Urbino to Porto Sant'Elpidio on Friday.
Italian Adriano Malori, who sprinted to second in the stage just over a minute behind, took over the leader's pink jersey.
Rubiano was clearly the man of the day and has moved up to fourth overall, coming close to also taking the pink jersey.
He broke clear of his fellow escapees with about 35km left to ride, on a tough climb that left the rest of his breakaway group unable to respond.
Thereafter he managed to maintain a lead against four chasers right to the finish.
Malori outsprinted Pole Michal Golas to take 12 bonus seconds for finishing second, which was enough to ensure he took over the pink jersey.
Golas is now second overall, 15 seconds back, with Canadian Ryder Hesjedal two seconds further down after finishing in the peloton, just under two minutes behind the winner.
Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas, who started the day in pink, was dropped several times on climbs and lost touch with the peloton for the final time on the same climb where Rubiano made his long break for home.
The day began with a 15-man breakaway, although four riders were shed on the first climb of the day.
Sprinters Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushovd both abandoned along the way, reducing the competition facing world champion Mark Cavendish.
By the penultimate climb it was down to nine men and Rubiano made his first attack there, although purely to take King of the Mountain points.
He was reeled back in but attacked again on the next climb and this time he stayed away.
The peloton spent a long time controlling the breakaway's gap at around six minutes but having hauled it back to around four minutes, the chase abruptly stalled.
It was not until the final 10km that they started to eat into the lead but they had left it too late and Rubiano was not to be caught.
Saturday's 202km stage seven takes the peloton into the Abruzze region and a demanding hilly course that should start to see the race favourites coming to the fore and the overall standings taking shape.
1. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez, Colombia, Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, 5 hours, 38 minutes, 30 seconds.
2. Adriano Malori, Italy, Lampre, 1 minute, 10 seconds behind.
3. Michal Golas, Poland, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, same time.
4. Alexsandr Dyachenko, Kazakhstan, Astana, same time.
5. Cesare Benedetti, Italy, Netapp, same time.
6. Daryl Impey, South Africa, Orice-GreenEdge, 1:51.
7. Filippo Pozzato, Italy, Farnese Vini, same time.
8. Fabio Sabatini, Italy, Liquigas, same time.
9. Francisco Ventoso Alberdi, Spain, Movistar, same time.
10. Michal Kwiatkowski, Poland, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, same time.
(After 6 of 21 stages)
1. Adriano Malori, Italy, Lampre, 20 hours, 25 minutes, 28 seconds.
2. Michal Golas, Poland, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, 15 seconds behind.
3. Ryder Hesjedal, Canada, Garmin-Barracuda, :17.
4. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez, Colombia, Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, :30.
5. Christian Vande Velde, United States, Garmin-Barracuda, :32.
6. Joaquin Rodriguez, Spain, Katusha, :36.
7. Peter Stetina, United States, Garmin-Barracuda, :37.
8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez, Spain, Katusha, :39.
9. Enrico Gasparotto, Italy, Astana, same time.
10. Luke Roberts, Australia, Saxo Bank, :41.
17. Roman Kreuziger, Czech Republic, Astana, :46.
21. Ivan Basso, Italy, Liquigas, :53.
45. Frank Schleck, Luxembourg, RadioShack-Nissan, 1:15.
54. Damiano Cunego, Italy, Lampre, 1:25
56. Michele Scarponi, Italy, Lampre, 1:28.