Bradley Wiggins moved into the red leader's jersey at the Vuelta a Espana after a powerful performance from the team on stage 11.
The Brit moved into the race lead by seven seconds over team-mate Chris Froome as Team Sky moved into a superb 1-2 at the top of the general classification.
In scenes that resembled those of stage nine on La Covatilla where the combination of Wiggins and Froome took the fight to the favourites, the duo were once again on the offensive as action resumed after the rest day.
With a breakaway up the road to contest the stage win a group of elite favourites, led by overnight leader Froome, were left to fight it out on the run up to Estacion de Montana Manzaneda.
Resplendent in his red jersey, Froome kept a cool head and set a strong tempo on the front in aid of Wiggins as a number of riders launched attacks on the final climb.
For the second mountaintop finish in succession Wiggins then came to the fore and put in a considerable effort on the front, stringing out the group of favourites with a burst that distanced the man who had split the Team Sky riders going into the rest day, Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard Trek).
Despite being distanced temporarily by the powerful effort, Froome dug in to produce a gutsy final two kilometres and clung on to second overall on the leaderboard after a selfless display.
With the duo now occupying the top two spots on GC, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) remains a threat 11 seconds back on Wiggins, while Fuglsang slipped back to fifth on the day, 19 seconds off the British National Champion.
While the battle for the race lead was being fought out David Moncoutie timed his attack to perfection to take an impression solo victory as the race entered Galicia.
The Cofidis rider made his way into the day's break before attacking his fellow escapees on the final climb, powering clear to win by a margin of one minute and 18 seconds at the line.
Benat Intxausti (Movistar) held on out of the break to claim second place with Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) narrowly edged into third as escapees filled out much of the top 10.
The final climb always looked likely to be decisive, with Team Sky hitting the 1750m test at the front of the bunch after controlling the peloton for much of the day.
Thomas Löfkvist set a strong tempo on the early slopes of the climb before Morris Possoni took over the pace-setting duties on the front.
Froome saw off a number of dangerous attacks before Wiggins again showed his climbing form, stringing out the bunch on the steep final ramps in a move that saw him climb into red, his second leader's jersey in Team Sky colours.
Stage 11 Result
1 - David Moncoutié (FRA) - Cofidis - (4:38:00)
2 - Beñat Intxausti (ESP) - Movistar - (+1:18)
3 - Luis León Sánchez (ESP) - Rabobank - (+1:18)
4 - Mathias Frank (SUI) - BMC Racing - (+1:36)
5 - Sérgio Paulinho (POR) - RadioShack - (+1:43)
6 - Matteo Montaguti (ITA) - AG2R - (+2:29)
7 - Amets Txurruka (ESP) - Euskaltel - (+2:29)
8 - Aitor Pérez (ESP) - Lampre - (+2:55)
9 - Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) - Katyusha - (+3:01)
10 - David Bernabéu (ESP) - Andalucia - (+3:08)
11 - Sergey Lagutin (UZB) - Vacansoleil - (+3:08)
12 - Wout Poels (NED) - Vacansoleil - (+3:08)
13 - Bradley Wiggins - Team Sky - (+3:08)
14 - Juan José Cobo (ESP) - Geox - (+3:08)
15 - Sergio Pardilla (ESP) - Movistar - (+3:08)
16 - Bauke Mollema (NED) - Rabobank - (+3:08)
17 - Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) - Liquigas - (+3:08)
18 - Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE) - Astana - (+3:08)
19 - Daniel Moreno (ESP) - Katyusha - (+3:08)
20 - Chris Sørensen (DEN) - Saxo Bank - (+3:08)
34 - Chris Froome - Team Sky - (+3:35)
General Classification after Stage 11
1 - Bradley Wiggins - Team Sky - (42:50:41)
2 - Chris Froome - Team Sky - (+7)
3 - Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) - Liquigas - (+11)
4 - Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE) - Astana - (+14)
5 - Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) - Leopard - (+19)
6 - Bauke Mollema (NED) - Rabobank - (+47)
7 - Maxime Monfort (BEL) - Leopard - (+1:06)
8 - Juan José Cobo (ESP) - Geox - (+1:27)
9 - Haimar Zubeldia (ESP) - RadioShack - (+1:53)
10 - Janez Brajkovic (SLO) - RadioShack - (+2:00)
11 - Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL) - Omega Pharma - Lotto - (+2:01)
12 - Marzio Bruseghin (ITA) - Movistar - (+2:22)
13 - Denis Menchov (RUS) - Geox - (+2:42)
14 - Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) - Katyusha - (+2:56)
15 - Sergio Pardilla (ESP) - Movistar - (+3:03)
16 - Daniel Moreno (ESP) - Katyusha - (+3:39)
17 - Chris Sørensen (DEN) - Saxo Bank - (+3:47)
18 - Nicolas Roche (IRL) - AG2R - (+3:50)
19 - Tiago Machado (POR) - RadioShack - (+4:06)
20 - Wout Poels (NED) - Vacansoleil - (+4:21)