Rome - Italy's Fausto Masnada won Wednesday's third stage of the Tour of the Alps which saw Team Sky's Pavel Sivakov hang on to the overall lead despite sniping attempts from Vincenso Nibali.
Masnada closed out the 106 kilometre fourth stage from Salorno to Baselga di Pine with a final solo breakaway to forge a five second win over Sivakov's Sky team-mate, Britain's Teo Geoghegan Hart, who claimed stage one of the tour.
Poland's Rafal Majka, riding for Bora-Hansgrohe, was third.
Known as the 'shark', 2014 Tour de France winner Nibali was a danger to Sivakov on the final climb.
But Chris Froome, out of contention for the lead himself at this point, hit back on behalf of his Sky team-mate, helping Sivakov keep in touch with the rampant Italian by responding to two attacks over the closing stages.
As a result Sivakov has an eight second lead over Astana's Czech rider Jan Hart going into Thursday's 134-kilometre fourth stage from Baselga di Pine to Cles.
Results from the third stage of the Tour des Alpes over 106 kilometres between Salorno to Baselga di Pine in Italy:
1. Fausto Masnada (ITA/AND) 2h 58min 08sec, 2. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBR/SKY) at 5sec, 3. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) s.t, 4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) s.t, 5. Dario Cataldo (ITA/AST) s.t
1. Pavel Sivakov (RUS/SKY) 11hrs 27min 08sec, 2. Jan Hirt (CZE/AST) 8, 3. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA/AND) 23, 4. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 35, 5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBR/SKY) 37