Bradley Wiggins' last-gasp attack in the third stage of the Volta a Catalunya propelled him into second spot in the overall classification, four seconds behind the new leader Alejandro Valverde.
Wiggins, who had been paced by his team-mates Dario Cataldo and Rigoberto Uran, burst clear of the peloton with one kilometre to go following an hors catégorie climb to the Vallter 2000 ski resort, with the trio of Nairo Quintana, Valverde (both Movistar) and Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez.
The move allowed Wiggins to lead the race into the final 500 metres, only for Quintana to launch a decisive counter-attack of his own which saw the Colombian battle on for a solo stage victory, six seconds ahead of his team-mate Valverde.
Wiggins crossed the line in fourth place, immediately behind Rodriguez, but was awarded the same time as Valverde. The same four riders are expected to dominate today's fourth stage – another summit finish – with its 11-mile final climb.
Earlier, the quartet of Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Lucas Haedo (Cannondale), Martin Kohler (BMC) and Karol Domagalski (Caja Rural) had staged an early break from the peloton and opened up a seven-minute lead on the main bunch.
However, three of them were reeled in from the final 50km, leaving Edet to go it alone in the last 15km. The Frenchman had a lead of over a minute heading into the final climb but was unable to hold off the peloton.
He was caught two kilometres from the finish, after Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) and Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) had also broken away from the bunch.
The peloton was as one heading into the final kilometre, leaving Wiggins to lead a burst of speed for the final push to the line.