Denis Menchov (Rabobank) put in a stunning performance in today’s individual time trial to take the stage win and 2009 Giro d’Italia lead.
The Russian timed his effort on the punishing 60.6km course to perfection, posting consistently fast times along the whole route.
Levi Leipheimer (Astana) put in a spirited bid for the pink leader’s jersey, and finished the stage 20 seconds adrift of Menchov.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins (Garmin) finished the stage seventh, 1-59 behind Menchov.
Stage 12: ITT, 60.6km
1. Denis Menchov (Russia) Rabobank in 1-34-29
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana at 20sec
3. Stefano Garzelli (Italy) Acqua & Sapone at 1-03
4. Janez Brajkovic (Slovakia) Astana at 1-14
5. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) Liquigas at 1-27
6. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) LPR Brakes at 1-54
7. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 1-59
8. Gabriele Bosisio (Italy) LPR Brakes at 2-04
9. Jose Serpa (Colombia) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni at 2-13
10. Marzio Bruseghin (Italy) Lampre at 2-17