Cancellara claims Vuelta TT
Tarazona - Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara won the 11th stage of the Tour of Spain on Wednesday, a 38.8km hilly time trial, while Italy's Vincenzo Nibali regained the overall leader's red jersey.
Radioshack's Cancellara, a specialist in this discipline, paced his effort in the early uphill section of the time trial near Tarazona in Aragon and then powered to the finish, completing it in 51 minutes, 37 seconds ahead of Germany's Tony Martin of Omega.
Italy's Domenico Pozzovivo of Ag2r finished the first and only time trial of this year's Tour in third place, 1min 24sec behind the winner.
Cancellara said this would stand him in good stead ahead of the time trial at the World Championships in Florence later this month.
"I'm coming into form for Florence. Having said that, I can't really compare myself to Tony Martin today given that the course in Florence is very different to this one," said Cancellara.
The time trial in Florence will be largely flat and run over 57.9km.
Astana's Nibali, who clocked the fourth fastest time at 1:25, took over the race leader's red jersey from American veteran Christopher Horner of Radioshack.
Horner came home in 54:01 and is now fourth in the overall standings, 46 seconds behind Nibali, the 2010 champion.
It was a great result for the Italian, who won this year's Giro d'Italia, as he was stung by an insect on Tuesday and awoke on Wednesday morning with a badly swollen face.
But it didn't seem to affect the 28-year-old, who has greatly improved his time-trialling this season.
"Yesterday I had a little problem with a wasp and this morning I woke up with swollen eyes," explained Nibali.
"But I didn't really have a problem during the time trial.
"I knew that Alejandro Valverde could produce a good time trial and that was the case. Purito (Joaquim Rodriguez) found it tougher but they remain my main rivals."
Ireland's Nicolas Roche moved up to second at 33sec after finishing the time trial in sixth while 2009 winner Valverde finished seventh on the stage and is now third overall, on the same time as Horner.
Diminutive climber Pozzovivo's stunning, and unexpected, result lifted him to sixth overall, just behind Spaniard Rodriguez, the third-placed finisher at this year's Tour de France, who failed to shine in finishing 21st on the stage.
Thursday's 12th stage is a 164.2km ride from Maella to Tarragona. With only one categorised climb just beyond midway and a flat final 20km, it should favour the sprinters.Results from the Tour of Spain after Wednesday's 11th stage 38.8km time trial around Tarazona:
1. Fabian Cancellara (SWI/RSH) 51min 00sec
2. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) at 0:37sec
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 1:24
4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 1:25
5. Dario Cataldo (ITA/SKY) 1:41
6. Nicolas Roche (IRL/SAX) 1:48
7. Jrome Coppel (FRA/COF) 1:52
7. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) same time
9. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/AST) 1:53
10. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 2:13
11. Leopold Knig (CZE/APP) 2:18
12. Stef Clement (NED/BKN) 2:24
13. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/BKN) 2:25
14. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 2:31
15. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 2:32
16. Rafal Majka (POL/SAX) 2:38
17. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) 2:42
18. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) 2:43
19. Jan Brta (CZE/APP) 2:52
20. Chris Horner (USA/RSH) 2:54Overall standings:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 41h 22min 22sec
2. Nicolas Roche (IRL/SAX) 0:33
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:46
3. Chris Horner (USA/RSH) s.t.
5. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 2:33
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 2:44
7. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) 2:55
8. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 3:35
9. Rafal Majka (POL/SAX) 3:46
10. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 3:56
11. Leopold Knig (CZE/APP) 4:08
12. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 5:05
13. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) 5:46
14. Eros Capecchi (ITA/MOV) 6:37
15. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 6:38
16. Ivan Santaromita (ITA/BMC) 7:23
17. Dominik Nerz (GER/BMC) 8:02
18. Laurens ten Dam (NED/BKN) 8:15
19. Jos Mendes (POR/APP) 8:56
20. Jos Herrada (ESP/MOV) 9:07