American Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) won the Tour of Spain's stage 14 Saturday, following a 207km ride from Puerto Lumbreras to Villacarrillo.
Russian Denis Menchov (Rabobank) retained the overall race lead by 2min 01sec after a tough day of climbing.
The 24-year-old McCartney, from Coralville, Iowa and a pro since 1999, came
home with 28 seconds to spare ahead of Sweden's Thomas Lovkvist (Francaise des Jeux) with German Stefan Schumacher and Spaniard Juanma Garate leading in the peloton 21 seconds further back.
Menchov was happy to sit back and bask in his overall lead as he came in 10 minutes, 5 seconds behind McCartney, who claimed his first Vuelta stage. Discovery team mate Tom Danielson won stage 17 of the 2006 race.
The American won out in 5:21:21 after emerging at the head of an 11-strong group of riders who pushed their way to the front with 82km to go, after a tough stage which included four category three climbs.
The American staked his claim 19km from the line as Garcia, Stefan Schumacher(Gerolsteiner), Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne) and Philip Deignan (AG2R) tried to stay with him in a furious finale.
Home rider Francisco Martinez Perez (Andalucia) made the first attack of the day; nobody was able to break out of the peloton until McCartney's late surge, taking the leading group 8 minutes out in front of the pack.
On a sour note for home fans, Relax rider Jesus Hernandez suffered a suspected broken collarbone following a fall.