Lisbon - Swiss specialist Fabian Cancellara of the Trek-Segafredo team won the third stage in the Volta ao Algarve, posting the best time in Friday's 18km time-trial in Sagres.
The four-time world time-trial champion clocked 20:57 to finish 5 seconds ahead of Germany's Tony Martin of the Etixx-QuickStep team, with Sky's Geraint Thomas third at 28 seconds.
Martin pulls on the leader's yellow jersey with a 3 second advantage on Thomas, with Spaniard Ion Izagirre of Movistar third at 20 seconds.
Spain's yellow jersey holder Luis Leon Sanchez, who won Thursday's second stage, was forced out of the race after the Astana rider took a tumble.
Saturday's penultimate fourth stage is a 194km run from Sao Bras de Alportel to Tavira.
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/Trek-Segafrado) 20min 57sec, 2. Tony Martin (GER) at 5sec, 3. Geraint Thomas (GBR) 28, 4. Ion Izagirre (ESP) 37, 5. Nelson Oliveira (POR) s.t.
1. Tony Martin (GER/Etixx-QuickStep) 9hr 22min 17sec, 2. Geraint Thomas (GBR) at 3sec, 3. Ion Izagirre (ESP) 20, 4. Tony Gallopin (FRA) 46, 5. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) 47.