Max Stedman was denied the Tour de Yorkshire mountains jersey by a phenomenal ride from Stephane Rossetto on stage four.
The Frenchman, from Cofidis, produced an exceptional solo effort of more than 100km to win the Queen stage in Leeds and overhaul the Canyon Eisberg climber in the standings.
Little more than a minute later, BMC star Greg van Avermaet sprinted to second spot and the general classification crown.
James Lowsley-Williams was Canyon Eisberg’s best-placed finisher – 60th on a gruelling final stage and 45th overall, 8min 43sec adrift of the Belgian winner.
Stedman, whose untimely mechanical on stage three scuppered his own overall ambitions, had dug deep to make the day’s breakaway, following a raft of moves and counter moves.
And after Hayden McCormick, of ONE Pro Cycling, had led over the Cote de Hebden Bridge, a fresh group of five formed.
Stedman had Rossetto, Roompot’s Pim Ligthart, Connor Swift, of Madison Genesis, and Team Wiggins’ Gabriel Cullaigh for company.
And the quintet worked hard to build up a slight cushion on the peloton before the day’s second climb, the Cote de Goose Eye.
Cullaigh, Ligthart and then Swift were distanced by Stedman and Rossetto as the race headed for the summit.
The Canyon Eisberg climber dropped his chain within 100m of the top but recovered brilliantly to kick clear of his French rival and take maximum points.
Swift was the third man over but, alongside Cullaigh and Ligthart, he was soon swept up by a chase group, including general classification hopefuls Brent Bookwalter, of BMC, Aqua Blue’s Mark Christian and Steff Cras, from Katusha.
On the Cote de Barden Moor, Stedman accelerated again to grab the points and join Madison’s Michael Cuming at the top of the mountains classification.
However, Rossetto had clearly had enough of playing second fiddle to the 22-year-old from Crowthorne in Berkshire.
The Cofidis man attacked on the run to the Cote de Park Rash, winning the intermediate sprint in Kilnsey at 67.5km before pressing on through the climb.
He crested first, more than 30 seconds in front, although Stedman had done enough to edge two points ahead in the mountains standings.
Rossetto, meanwhile, had risen to a share of second place with Cuming as the battle for the jersey started hotting up.
With more than 60km before the penultimate climb of the day, the Cote de Greenhow Hill, Stedman slipped back to the chase group.
A series of attacks from former Lotto Soudal rider Ligthart then saw him shaken out as the race approached 50km to go.
He battled bravely to get back on ahead of the Cote de Greenhow Hill. But an attack by Team Sky’s Owain Doull, after Rossetto had crested the summit four minutes earlier, effectively handed the Frenchman the mountains jersey.
The peloton still trailed the chasers by two minutes at this stage as the pace was gradually cranked up in the fight for the overall crown.
BMC’s strength quickly showed as they pulled a select group clear of the rest of the bunch to make the catch before the final climb – the Cote de Otley Chevin.
Eddie Dunbar, of Aqua Blue, attacked over the top with 25km to go but he was quickly reeled in.
Rossetto still had an advantage approaching three minutes when he rolled through the final intermediate sprint at Arthington.
But that lead was falling as van Avermaet accelerated to pinch three extra bonus seconds by crossing the line at the front of the chasers.
With race leader Magnus Cort Nielsen distanced by the third group on the road, the overall victory was now van Avermaet’s to lose.
And so it proved after Rossetto had held on to claim a wonderful solo stage win in Leeds.
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