Vincenzo Nibali rolled back the years with a perfectly-timed attack on his home roads to take stage and overall victory at the Tour of Sicily.
Trek-Segafredo's Nibali had not won a race in 2021 but launched a vicious kick away from a group of the race's strongest riders on the final climb to claim an impressive victory.
On a 180 kilometre course from Sant'Agata di Militello to Mascali, the riders endured the toughest day of racing at the four-stage event on the volcanic island.
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) had begun the day in the race leader's red jersey after his Stage 3 win with a seven-second advantage over Alessandro Covi of UAE-Team Emirates.
The pairing were both part of a select group of favourites ascending the second top category climb of the day, with Lorenzo Fortunato and Romain Bardet also among those in touch.
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Covi's teammate David de la Cruz provided an initial acceleration but it was Nibali who produced the telling attack, with the rest of the group unable to follow and a gap of nearly half-a-minute opened at the summit.
Nibali topped the climb clear of the field and descended well, with a disorganised chase unable to reel him in as Nibali extended his advantage.
In the end victory was comfortable, a 50-second winning margin more than sufficient to seal a popular victory on the Sicilian roads with an emotional 'Shark of Messina' able to bask in the glory of home triumph at the finish.
Simone Ravanelli (Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec) burst from the bunch to take second ahead of Covi, with the younger Nibali brother, Antonio, finishing amongst a re-consolidated group of 13 riders.
The Tour of Sicily had been resurrected in 2019 but was not held last year due to the pandemic.
Victory in Mascali marked Nibali's first stage win for more than two years, with the Trek-Segafredo' rider's previous best result of the season ninth at the Italian National Championships.
Nibali will return to Astana ahead of the 2022 season but will first target victory at Il Lombardia on Saturday October 9.
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GC Leader - 1. V. Nibali