Colombian Nairo Quintana took back the leader’s jersey for the Vuelta A Espana a day after losing it to David de la Cruz following a commanding victory in stage ten on Monday.
The day’s 188.km trek to Lagos de Covadonga was animated by a 16-man break.
A serious of late climbs however caused that breakaway to splinter.
Behind in the overall contenders group Alberto Contador attacked and went away with Quintana.
At first Chris Froome appeared sluggish to respond but he soon upped gears and unleashed an explosive change of pace.
Out in front Quitana danced up short final climb, overtook the sole survivor of the break Robert Gesink and went on to secure a fine victory.
Meanwhile Froome’s strong display in the second half of the final climb saw him to overtake fellow favourites Contador and Alejandro Valverde.
He couldn’t catch Quintana but limited the damage to finish behind Gesink in third.
In the overall standings Quintana now leads Valverde by 57 seconds with Froome a further second back.