Overall leader Simon Yates gained three bonus seconds in the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday but it was a hard day for his Mitchelton-Scott team as Esteban Chaves dropped out of contention.
Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates, 25, kicked with 1.5km to go and held off the pursuit of defending champion Tom Dumoulin to win in Osimo.
"It was the most aggressive stage I ve seen for a while", said Yates.
Race favourite Froome again lost steam in the final climb with the four-time Tour de France victor finishing in 42nd position, some 40 seconds behind Yates.
Four-time Tour de France victor Chris Froome also finished in the main group despite being involved in another crash which left him with a bloody elbow.
George Bennett of New Zealand and Team LottoNL-Jumbo - during the 101th Tour of Italy 2018, Stage 9.
With two steep climbs in a testing final 5km, including cobbles and sections of 16% gradient, the peloton sprinted to the foot of the first rise, swallowing up the final two riders from the breakaway, Luis Leon Sanchez and Alessandro de Marchi.
Zdenek Stybar and Tim Wellens attacked and opened up a small gap late in the race but couldn't respond when Yates made his move.
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With both Chaves and Yates at the top of the leaderboard, the team was able to use its two leaders to play off each other and put their rivals on the defensive.
Yates now leads by 41 seconds from Dutchman Dumoulin, with Thibaut Pinot of Groupama-FDJ in third at 46 seconds and home hopeful Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) a minute off the lead.
The Giro ends in Rome on May 27.
"I need more time on these sort of stages".
He needs a miracle to revive his attempt to become the first rider to win three Grand Tours in a row since Frenchman Bernard Hinault in 1982/83. "I did at the beginning with 12 other riders but, unfortunately, because of what happened to Chaves, the peloton came across", Mahoric said.
"I'm delighted that I have taken this opportunity". Whenever you crash the body is going to take a bit of an impact and I'm not pedalling the same as I normally do.
"I feel as if I've been progressing throughout the race, still just chipping away and hoping to do the best I can".
"I had good legs, so I chose to attack from far out, two kilometers to go".