Katusha's Luca Paolini launched a late attack to win the third stage of the Giro d'Italia and take the leader's pink jersey.

The Italian rider got himself among a leading group containing a number of general classification contenders, including defending champion Ryder Hesjedal, Bradley Wiggins, Vincenzo Nibali and Cadel Evans, during the closing stages.

Paolini made his move with six kilometres of the 222km run from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea remaining and opened up enough of a gap to triumph ahead of Evans and Hesjedal.

Wiggins, on the day Team Sky's team principal Dave Brailsford re-iterated Chris Froome will lead their Tour de France challenge, was eighth on the stage and remains second in the general classification, 17 seconds down on Paolini.