German Bert Grabsch (T-Mobile) won the eighth stage 52km time trial of the Tour of Spain in Zaragoza on Saturday. Belgian Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) took the overall lead.
Grabsch finished the stage in 0:57:05, 34 seconds ahead of Hungarian Laszlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole) and 48 seconds clear of Devolder.
Russian Denis Menchov (Rabobank), winner of the Vuelta in 2005 after the disqualification of Spaniard Roberto Heras for doping, finished the stage in 4th, 1:18 behind Grabsch.
Menchov is second overall, 30 seconds behind Devolder.
"Normally I finish fourth or fifth in time trials," said Grabsch, who was realistic to know his win came thanks to the absence of specialists against the clock.
Devolder said he was "doubly happy" to be the new leader of the race and to have received the golden jersey from the hands of Spain's Miguel Indurain, who won the Tour de France from 1991 to `95.
Good allround rider Devolder may have his work cut out to maintain his lead during Sunday and Monday's mountain stages.
Spain's Carlos Sastre (Team CSC), in seventh place overall and 3:15 behind the leader, is expected to come to the fore in the Pyrenees. Sunday's 174km stage between Huesca and ski station Cerler has three second-category climbs before an uncategorised climb to a 2,000m summit finish.
© AFP 2007