Primoz Roglic emerged as the overwhelming favourite for the Giro d'Italia title when the Slovenian won the ninth stage, a 34.8-km individual time trial from Riccione on Sunday.
Italian Valerio Conti (Team UAE) retained the overall leader's pink jersey after finishing 3:34 behind Lotto Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic, who crushed most of the overall contenders with a time of 51:52 .
Among those, two-time champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) of Italy limited the damage when he lost 1:05 following a strong showing in the finale, a 12.25-km climb in San Marino, to take fourth place. Belgian Victor Campenaerts and Dutchman Bauke Mollema finished second and third respectively.
Briton Simon Yates (Mitchelton Scott) took a beating as he lost 3:11 to Roglic, and Spain's Miguel Angel Lopez ended up 3:45 off the pace after all the general classification contenders rode the stage in wet conditions.
It was a spectacular reverse of fortune for Yates, who had been strong in the opening time trial after warning his rivals they should be scared of him.
Ireland's Eddie Dunbar finished 4:29 behind Roglic, while Conor Dunne was more than two minutes further back, 7:05 off the pace.
Dunbar is just inside the top 50 in the general classification, in 49th, 16:01 behind the leader while Dunne is 150th overall.
Overall, Conti, who is not among the main GC contenders, leads Roglic, winner of the first time trial, by 1:50.
Roglic now has 1:44 on Nibali in the overall standings before the Giro hits the mountains.
Monday is the three-week race's first rest day.