Is there anything Primoz Roglic cannot do? Not content with winning the opening stage of this Vuelta as well as the Stage 8 summit showdown on Wednesday, the Slovenian burst past the puncheurs to complete his hat-trick and take back the red jersey in Suances.
On the ramped finale to Stage 10 on the Cantabrian coast, Jumbo-Visma's Roglic powered past the Frenchman Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) with a few hundred metres to spare before crossing the line ahead of Austria's Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Italy's Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck Quick-Step).
Gaps in the pack saw fourteenth-place Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) concede three seconds to the man in green, who also picked up 10 bonus seconds for his win. That meant Roglic closed his 13-second deficit in the general classification to tie the two best riders for time, with the 30-year-old's superior stage results putting him back in the red jersey.
It will be a direct swap for the race's two in-form riders, with Ecuador's Carapaz keeping Roglic's green jersey warm for the first of two decisive stages in the Cantabrian mountains on Saturday.
'The Incredible Hulk you could say!' - Watch Roglic's brilliant win in Stage 10
A break of four riders – Spain's Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Belgium's Brent van Moer (Lotto Soudal), and Dutch duo Pim Ligthart (Total Direct Energie) and Alexander Molenaar (Burgos-BH) – formed early on in the 185km stage and quickly established a lead pushing 12 minutes as the race skirted the Bay of Santander.
Dropped from the move on an early climb, Poland's Michal Paluta (CCC Team) dug deep to return to the fold before admitting defeat on the leg-sapping coastal roads overlooking the Atlantic.
Once Deceuninck Quick-Step, Mitchelton-Scott and Astana combined on the front of the pack, the advantage tumbled fast – although it quickly became clear that the Belgian team were not working for their sprinter Sam Bennett.
Demoted for a barge en route to winning Stage 9, the Irishman struggled with the constant shifts of gradient, spending large swathes of the final two hours clinging on to the back of the pack after being initially distanced on the only categorised climb of the day, with 60km remaining.
Is there anything Roglic can't do? 'On the bike no'
The break was swallowed up with just over 15km to go before the usual fight for positions took place as the peloton stretched out on the approach to Suances. South Africa's Willie Smit (Burgos-BH), France's Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck Quick-Step) and Portugal's Ivo Oliviera (UAE-Team Emirates) all tried their luck going clear on a hill near the finish but they were all brought to heel ahead of the final few kilometres.
Having shirked all duties in the peloton, the Bora-Hansgrohe team of Pascal Ackermann, the rider gifted the win following Bennett's disqualification on Thursday, came to the fore alongside Astana and Michelton-Scott as the road swept downhill on a technical plunge before the ramped finale.
But the steep gradient ensured that Ackermann was not Bora's card for the day, with Grossschartner leading the chase once Frenchman Martin, the polka dot jersey, skipped clear inside the final kilometre.
Ushered to the front by his Jumbo-Visma teammates, Roglic, in electric green, stood out like a sore thumb – and he was to inflict similar pain on his rivals after putting in a clinical, unseated surge to kill off Martin's chances and shed Grossschartner and Deceuninck's Bagioli.
Roglic made it look three-and-easy as he zipped clear and had time to look over his shoulders to inspect the damage he'd inflicted. He may well have been able to pick out the red jersey of Carapaz, who had sunk to 14th place to hand the initiative back to the defending champion.
Ireland's Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) finished in the front group and was given the same time as Roglic, but Britain's Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) came home in a group 10 seconds in arrears thanks to the numerous splits caused by the Slovenian sensation.
Martin and Carthy retain their third and fourth places in the general classification but now trail the summit by 25 and 51 seconds respectively.
This weekend will be a severe test of Tour runner-up Roglic's red credentials with back-to-back mountaintop finishes on the Alto de la Farrapona and the mythical Alto de l'Angliru.