Rising star Edvald Boasson Hagen kept Team Sky's Tour de France campaign bubbling over by claiming his second stage win, and Norway's fourth of the race on Wednesday.
Boasson Hagen opened his and Team Sky's account on the world's premier cycling event with victory on stage six in Lisieux. That victory helped soothe the British outfit's wounds a day after team leader Bradley Wiggins, an outsider for the yellow jersey, crashed out of the race with a broken collarbone.
A day after his runner-up finish to Thor Hushovd when the Norwegian took his second win of the race in Gap, Boasson Hagen had stage 17 etched in his mind.
"I felt a bit disappointed yesterday to not win," said Boasson Hagen. "I really wanted the win today and I really tried to get into the break."
Joining a breakaway which had to fight to escape the peloton over some difficult climbs, the Norwegian then helped chase down Spaniard Ruben Perez after the Euskaltel rider attacked on the second last climb of the day. With the stage leaders all back together ahead of the 6.6 km final climb at Pramartino, Boasson Hagen pulled away past Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel before beginning the very tight and tricky 8 km descent to the finish.
Jonathan Hivert of Saur-Sojasun had managed to stick on his wheel, before the Frenchman tumbled on the descent and lost control further down when he entered a roadside driveway.
Boasson Hagen powered away unchallenged to the finish where he crossed over 40secs ahead of Dutchman Bauke Mollema.
Although it was a battle just to get into the breakaway, Boasson Hagen revealed he had circled the stage as a possible winner after previewing it with Team Sky.
"We did the route in training earlier on this year and I was thinking about this stage. I had a plan and everything was perfect," he added.
Sky sports director Sean Yates added: "That was a top notch performance from Eddy and from the team. He has the legs, he showed that yesterday. Today he won with his legs as well as his head. "He was very motivated. After yesterday he was a bit peeved about the result but there was nothing he could do about that. But regardless today he made amends. It was a big result."