Italy's Filippo Pozzato won Thursday's 12th stage of the Tour of Italy with Australian Riche Porte holding on to the leader's pink jersey.
Pozzato, the first Italian to pick up a stage win since the start in Amsterdam, prevailed in a sprint for the line after the 206km run from French duo Thomas Voeckler and Jerome Pineau.
This trio headed a group of 10 riders who had detached themselves from the main bunch a dozen kilometres from Porto Recanati.
Tempers flared in the final push when Spain's Carlos Sastre and Australian world champion Cadel Evans had angry words with a rival rider.
The peloton crossed the line 10 seconds adrift of the leaders with half a wheel splitting the first two home.
"It's a dream to win on the Giro whilst in possession of the Italian world champion's jersey," said Katusha team rider Pozzato.
"This season has been difficult," the 28-year-old who won the Milan-SanRemo classic in 2006, added. "I went for this victory with my heart, I needed this success."
Porte, of the Team Saxo Bank, said he was having to pinch himself.
"For me it really is unbelievable to wear this precious Maglia Rosa," he said. "Not even in my remotest dreams I had imagined something so great.
"I sometimes get lost in thought and I can hardly believe what's happening to me."
Friday's 13th stage takes the riders on a run from Porto Recanati to Casenatico, the hometown of 1998 Giro winner Marco Pantani who died in 2004.
© AFP 2010
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.