British rider Simon Yates flew clear of the other contenders on the demanding final climb to Sassotetto on Friday to take the fifth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico and the race lead.
On a warm day, Yates broke clear with 4.5km to go and outpaced the other favorites on the climb to the Apennine ski resort. Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, a Welshman with Ineos, and Pole Rafal Majka of Bora finished 35 seconds down with Russian Aleksandr Vlasov of Astana at 39.
Majka is second overall, 16 seconds behind Yates with Thomas a further 23 seconds behind. The overnight leader, Canadian Michael Woods, who had valiantly defended his leader jersey on Thursday in the first mountain stage, finished 11th at 1 minute 46 seconds.
Briton Simon Yates took the leader's blue jersey five days after his twin Adam surrendered the yellow jersey in the Tour de France after four days in the lead. Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome had another bad day, rolling in with a large group of tailenders more than 29 minutes down.
In Saturday's sixth stage, the race heads for the Adriatic coast at Senigallia in a largely flat 171 kilometre.