Argentin, 34 and in his final season, raced past his Gewiss-Ballan team-mate Piotr Ugrumov in the final kilometre to win by six seconds from his fellow Italians Andrea Ferrigato and Davide Rebellin.
Ugrumov, from Latvia, attacked on the last of three climbs, with two kilometres remaining of the 232km-long stage, but was caught by Rebellin. Then Argentin pounced. He completed the distance in 6hr 13min 31sec.
Argentin said: 'I only went for a stage win but I am very happy to have the leader's pink jersey. It's too early, though, to talk about winning the Giro.' He is the third rider to don the jersey in two days.Reuse content