Eurosport - Tue, 25 May 16:19:00 2010
Stefano Garzelli gave Italy their fifth consecutive stage win of their home tour by winning stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia, the feared mountain time trial on the Plan de Corones.
The 2000 champion posted a time of 41 minutes and 28 seconds on the 12.9 kilometre ascent which had a vertical climb of 1080m.
Spain's David Arroyo kept the overall lead as he finished in 16th place in a time of 43:44.
"It's one of the most beautiful victories of my career," Garzelli said. "I still don't believe it.
"Today Arroyo lost less than I expected. He is a diesel, it will be tough to take the jersey off him. There are two difficult stages now to come, (Ivan) Basso and Evans will have to try everything."
BMC's Evans was quickest at the intermediate time check but 36-year-old Garzelli was peerless on the final 5km gravel road section which culminated in a gruelling maximum gradient of 24 per cent over the final metres.
It was a ninth Giro stage victory for the Acqua & Sapone rider who started the day over half-an-hour down on Caisse d'Epargne's Arroyo.
Arroyo produced a brave ride to hang on to the leader's pink jersey although he saw his lead over Basso cut to 2:27.
Basso (42:38) finished in sixth place, 1:10 behind the leader, with the stage winner on Sunday to Monte Zoncolan just behind Liquigas team-mate Vincenzo Nibali (42:29) and fellow Italian GC contender Michele Scarponi (42:35).
Basso, the 2006 champion, moved up a place to second on GC ahead of young Australian Richie Porte who stays in the podium positions after finishing 17th.
Carlos Sastre was two places behind the Tasmanian and drops to fifth overall behind Evans, who reduced the time gap on Basso from 70 to 42 seconds.
Giro d'Italia: Wednesday 1.45pm LIVE on British Eurosport 2 (Sky 411 / Virgin 525) & on the Eurosport Player.